Muscle for life

Do Fructose and Fruit Make You Fat and Unhealthy?

Do Fructose and Fruit Make You Fat and Unhealthy?

Does regular fructose intake ruin insulin sensitivity, cause weight gain, and damage your metabolism?


Many health gurus claim that fruit can cause horrible things in the body due to the sugar molecule it contains, known as fructose.

I’ve known many people that were thoroughly convinced that they would get fatter if they ate any fruit (many of whom were already overweight, which is ironic), and that couldn’t believe I was able to stay in the single-digit body fat percentages eating over 100 grams of carbohydrate from fruit every day (apples, oranges, and bananas are my favorites).

Some pretty heavy claims have been leveled at fructose in the “pop culture” of nutrition and diet. A popular crusader against it is Dr. Robert H. Lustig, whose talk entitled Sugar: The Bitter Truth currently has over 3.4 million views on YouTube.

According to Lustig and others, fructose has special qualities that directly induce fat storage, and that make it toxic to the liver.

But does the current scientific evidence support these positions? Is fructose, and fruit, bad for our health?

What is Fructose Anyway, and What’s the Big Deal?

does fruit makes you fat

Fructose is a simple carbohydrate that, together with glucose, makes up sucrose (table sugar). It’s found in many plant sources like honey, fruits, flowers, and root vegetables., and is one of the three basic forms of sugar that our body can use as fuel (the other two are glucose and galactose).

Eating an abundance of refined sugars–fructose included–can definitely cause problems beyond just added calories. They have addictive properties normally found with drug abuse, and that can lead to cravings, bingeing, and withdrawal symptoms.  Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is particularly bad, and has been associated with weight gain and obesity, and even an increased risk of cancer in men and women.

But, if we’re to listen to fructose alarmists, this molecule in particular is to be avoided at all costs. For instance, research has indicated that regular consumption of fructose may play a causative role in the epidemic of a cocktail of disease, including hypertension, obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease.

These types of observational studies have led to advices to completely avoid fruit and fructose and assume the less fruit you eat, the better. But there’s more to this story.

Use this workout and flexible dieting program to lose up to 10 pounds of fat and build muscle in just 30 days…without starving yourself or living in the gym.

The Big Flaw in Fructose Alarmism

is sugar in fruit fattening

When you really dig into the feeding trials that highlight the health problems associated with fructose intake, you quickly notice something.

The dosages of fructose required to produce negative effects are quite high. Not impossible to reach through dietary means, but damn near impossible through fruit alone.

For instance, one study conducted by the University of Lausanne showed that 7 days of a high-fructose diet increased fat deposits in the liver and muscle, as well as fasting triglycerides, and decreased insulin sensitivity. Bad, no doubt.

How exactly what this study conducted, though? Well, they had 16 guys consume a solution consisting of 3.5 grams of fructose per kilogram of weight every day. I weigh about 90 kilograms, so that would mean I would have to eat 315 grams of fructose per day. If I wanted to get that from bananas, I’d have to eat about 45. Or about 80 cups of strawberries.  Or 800 cherries. Or 26 apples.

Another study conducted by the University of Fribourg in Switzerland had one group of the 15 volunteers drink a beverage containing 60 grams of fructose, and another a beverage with the same amount of glucose. The result: blood pressure levels were elevated for 2 hours in the fructose group, but not the glucose group.

Well, that’s the fructose found in about 9 bananas, 15 cups of strawberries, 150 cherries, or 5 apples.

Yet another study, this time conducted by the University of California, had participants get 25% of their daily calories from either fructose or glucose. After 12 weeks, both groups gained weight (due to overeating), but the fructose group experienced negative side effects not seen in the glucose group:

  • Increased amount of visceral fat.
  • Increased fat production in the liver.
  • Decreased insulin sensitivity.
  • Elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol.
  • Increased triglyceride levels.

Pretty nasty indeed. But wait a minute. 25% of daily calories? Well, I eat close to 3,000 calories per day, so that would call for about 175 grams of fructose per day. I won’t bother with the fruit list—you get the idea.

Okay then, so eating large amounts of fructose every day is a bad idea. But, practically speaking, reaching dangerous levels through fruit alone would require deliberate overfeeding. Not only that, but the fiber content of fruit changes how your body deals with the sugars. Fruit also contains various phytochemicals that are good for our health.

Bottom line: consuming 30 grams of fructose from fruit is different than drinking 30 grams of pure fructose, or in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.

Bonus Round:
Does Fructose Magically Turn Into Body Fat and Wreck Your Liver?

does fructose from fruit make you fat

One of the common claims against fructose is that, regardless of level of intake, it leads to more weight gain than other sources of carbohydrate. Another is that it’s toxic to the liver, nearly as much as alcohol.

Unfortunately, these positions just aren’t supported by studies done with humans, as opposed to mice and rats (which have very different metabolic characteristics than humans).

Research has shown that a paltry 2-3% of fructose consumed is converted into fat in the liver, whereas 50% ends up as glucose, 25% as lactate, and 15% as glycogen.

It’s not surprising, then, that a McMaster University meta-analysis published in 2012 reviewed 31 fructose feeding trials involving 637 participants, and concluded that “fructose does not seem to cause weight gain when it is substituted for other carbohydrates in diets providing similar calories.”

Some people point to the lactate production as a problem, but these claims were debunked over a decade ago. It turns out that lactate isn’t a metabolic miscreant; in fact, it plays an important role in a number of metabolic processes and is an effective aerobic fuel.

Fructose, like any other form of calories, will cause weight gain when over-eaten, but doesn’t have magical fat storage powers, and it doesn’t damage your liver at low-moderate consumption levels.

So, How Much Fructose Should You Eat Every Day?

do fruits get you fat

According to a meta-analysis of clinical trials evaluating fructose intake, 25-40 grams of fructose per day is totally safe. That’s 3-6 bananas, 6-10 cups of strawberries, 10-15 cherries, or 2-3 apples per day. Or, as the old advice goes, a few servings of fruit every day.

While regular fruit eaters don’t have anything to worry about, but it’s worth noting that regular eaters of refined sugars like high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose can reach unhealthy levels very easily.

For instance, a 20-ounce bottle of soda sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup contains about 35 grams of fructose. One gram of sucrose is about half glucose, half fructose, so if you eat a dessert with 50 grams of sugar, you’re getting about 25 grams of fructose. High-fructose corn syrup is about 55% fructose and found in many processed foods, fruit juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, and so on, so this can add up quickly as well.

Even agave nectar, which is touted as healthy by many due to its low-glycemic properties, can be as high as 90% fructose. Other less processed forms can be as low as 55%.

So, the main takeaway from all of this is you can avoid all the health complications associated with simple sugars like fructose by just keeping your daily intake relatively low.  The sources are many, but the effects are the same: agave, sucrose, honey, maple syrup, raw sugar, molasses, brown sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, turbinado sugar, and on and on.


What are your thoughts on fruit and fructose consumption? What are your experiences? Share them in the comments below!

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  • Ecil Teodoro

    Industry does not want us to have good eating habits. They probably fund these ridiculous studies.

    • Well, not necessarily. The negative effects of eating TOO MUCH fructose are widely known and accepted. The problem is mainstream diet advice interprets those studies to mean that ANY fructose is bad…

  • the studies make no sense though. its almost like the study was fixed lol

    serving someone multiple grams of simple sugars in a liquid carrier is entirely different from consuming those sugars through the form of food

    for example, if the participants in those studys had to consume that many grams of sugar through whole fruits, they would be too full to do it. how many ppl can eat 9 banannas in one sitting? but u can put that amount of sugar in a glass of liquid and knock it down

    Also, fruit, like banannas and apples, contain fiber which will make your stomanch fuller, and help carry out sugars and toxins from your intestinal track and such.

    • Yup, you’re absolutely right! I address these issues in the article. The bottom line is you’re just not going to mess yourself up eating fruit unless you go out of your way to slam down an outrageous amount every day.

  • Are there any fruits that you would absolutely stay away from and ones essential?

    • The only fruits I don’t eat a lot of are things like melon, figs, and dates because they’re really high on the GI, and not very satiating.

      None are essential, either. I like to eat a variety, like bananas, berries, apples, kiwi, pineapple, etc. You can just enjoy yourself when it comes to fruit (you have to account for the calories though, of course).

      • Dean

        Hi just a question I’ve not long been scanned and told I’ve got fatty liver ,I know I’ve not been active as I’ve been in and out of hospital from back operations and shoulder operations but now starting to go to a gym 4 times a weeks ,the food I’m now eating is 3 to 4 different fruits a day and loads of vegetables and chicken / mackeral / cod / tuna,what I’m asking is am I over doing it with the fruit or is that ok many thx Dc

        • Michael Matthews

          That’s great you’re rolling and 3-4 servings of fruit per day is totally fine. Let me know how everything goes!

  • Jon Turner

    Are there any negative implications to blending fruit in a smoothy?

    • Michael Matthews

      No, not at all… What have you heard?

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  • val

    Is it okay to eat fruit at night? I’ve heard mixed things…

    • Michael Matthews

      Sure. WHEN you eat doesn’t really matter.

      The only exception is I don’t recommend eating a bunch of carbs right before bed because elevated insulin levels blocks the production of growth hormone, and your body produces a majority of its GH while you’re sleeping.

      Thus spiking your insulin before you go to bed is theoretically a bad idea.

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  • Javi Alvarez

    Nice article. In this aspect, what I take into account is the glycemic index. I find carbs with low glycemic index, because those are the “slow” ones. In that regard, I eat only apples and strawberries (low GI), except after a workout, when you need carbs ASAP. I don’t worry about fructose itself, I just look the GI. I’m not so sure I’m doing well though! My favourite carbs are: whole wheat tortillas, oatmeal and apples. Most of my carbs come from those guys, I keep it pretty simple.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Javi!

      Yeah, generally speaking it’s best to stick to low-GI carbs. They’re usually the most nutritious forms, and they prevent the energy highs and lows that come with eating large amounts of high-GI carbs every day. There are also health concerns with doing the latter (insulin resistance and the many problems that brings).

      It sounds like you’re doing totally fine. Keep it up!

      • Javi Alvarez

        Thanks for your reply, I will keep it up for sure 🙂

        • Michael Matthews

          Great! 🙂

  • Brandon

    Moderation is key!

    • Michael Matthews


  • Trecia Webb

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for doing your homework and writing this article. I was getting out of my mind with all those other research associating fruits to weight gain without giving all the facts.
    You broke it down so well for us to understand and I appreciate your interest in setting the record straight. I will definitely make reference to your article when I hear another alarm regarding the topic of fruits and diet.

    My main take away is : moderation is key!
    Again, thank you!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Trecia! I really appreciate it!

      Let’s keep enjoying our fruit. 🙂

  • Thanks for the great article, Michael! I have heard not to consume more than 50 grams of sugar a day, so I have drastically cut back on my fruit and milk. It’s nice to know I can eat more, and not have to worry about it turning to fat. This is a little different subject, but one still dealing with sugar. What are your thoughts on milk? Since one cup of skim contains 12 grams of sugar, I only drink it after workouts. The rest of the time I eat cottage cheese and drink my whey in water. Not too tasty. Any suggestions or insight? Thanks again!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Joel! I would agree that 50+ grams of SUCROSE per day would be a bad idea, but 50 grams of sugar from fruit per day shouldn’t be an issue.

      Milk is fine so long as it doesn’t bother your stomach (lactose intolerance). I’m a bit sketched out by the general quality of dairy here in the States, but that’s another issue…

  • John Thomas

    Hydration issues are a factor

    • Michael Matthews


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  • Stuart Cullinan

    Hi Michael, thanks for the great article!
    I know you said that ‘when’ you eat fruit is not particularly important (putting the evening carb issue aside) but I was wondering about portion sizes. I have read that around two portions of fruit a day is good and seem to align with what you have suggested, but some people are claiming that fructose can cause an insulin spike so is it best to spread your daily intake of fruit over the day. Is it ok to take all your fruit in one sitting, your morning smoothie for example?

  • James Marshall


    ‘Juice Diets’ seem to be very popular at the moment, even my wife is planning on trying it. Im not a fan of fad diets, call me old fashioned but I prefer to eat well and exercise but its hard to argue when other people claim to have lost weight and the juice is made from nice healthy fruit and veg.
    My concern is that the sheer quantity of fruit in the juice would be detrimental due to the level of fructose. Can you offer some clarity on this?


    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah I’m not a fan of juice diets because of how imbalanced they are macronutritionally. I know people that will do 10-14 days of nothing but juice, and it just gets unhealthy (no protein, no micronutrients that are obtained from other food sources, etc.). The amount of fructose could also become an issue, yes.

      Most people use these diets for weight loss purposes too, which is silly as you know (you don’t need to starve yourself to lose weight effectively).

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  • Joel

    I’ve never seen a fat frutarian in my life. Never saw a fat monkey, gorilla, or any other fruit/veggie eating species. And the fructose in fruit is not to be compared to the ( high) fructose found in junk food. Different worlds. You will never be fat or sick by eating fruits and veggies…ever. Would love to see it happen, but it won’t.

    • Michael Matthews

      Well, you can gain fat by eating fruit and veggies if you simply eat too many calories every day…

      • Ona

        Fruit and vegetable are low in calories. You would need to overeat to reach your calories.

        • Michael Matthews

          That’s true, but eating ONLY fruits and veggies would quickly lead to micronutrient deficiencies, so you’d have to eat other food as well, namely sources of healthy fats and proteins.

          Overeating isn’t as hard as some people think (they don’t realize how little energy their bodies actually burn every day).

          • Crispy

            Veg=protein. There is also some protein in fruit. Avocado=fats and is also a veg (or fruit!?)
            So fruit, veg, other fats (nuts, seeds, oil) sounds perfect.
            Frutarians eat A LOT. Over 3000 calories.
            Fruit does not a fatty make.

          • Michael Matthews

            Vegetables do not “equal” protein. Most vegetables have a little protein, but not nearly enough to meet the needs of a high-protein diet. Fruit has very little protein–less than veggies.

            You can absolutely gain weight by eating nothing but fruit. All you have to do is eat significantly more energy (calories) than you burn, and you will gain weight.

          • alex

            it depends your glycogen storage, every time you workout you use stored glycogen in your liver and muscles. if you eat fruits all day i think you will gain less weight than eating just protein all day, because carbs are the bodys main source of fuel, fat second and protein 3rd. so it depends what life style you have if you lift weights regularly the paleo diet suits you but for endurance athletes i always recommend increasing the carb intake in form of fruits , GF grains and vegetables. concentrate on amino acids instead of just the word protein!. never compare natural sugars like fruits to man made sugar because nature always wins!.

          • Michael Matthews

            it’s MUCH easier to over-eat with fruit than protein simply because fruit isn’t very satiating whereas protein is.

            Glycogen storage doesn’t mean you get to eat as much fruit as you want. Calories are still calories.

            Paleo actually is bad for weightlifters because the carbs fuel our workouts. it’s better suited to people that don’t exercise, or do cardio only (or light resistance training).

            Protein is made up of amino acids, and the particular importance physiologically relates to the ESSENTIAL amino acids.

          • CPANinjaDoug

            Great article. I prefer vegetables but I try to get at least a couple servings of fruits every day.

            One point I think needs some qualification, though. A paleo diet *can* be perfectly fine for weightlifters. The paleo diet makes no recommendations as to quantities of what you eat as long as the foods fit within the paleo diet’s rules (basically if it had a face, or would have if it had grown up — e.g., eggs, — or is something that grows without needing cultivation). The paleo diet does not contain legumes, grains, or dairy or processed sugars or chemical additives. But aside from that, most anything is OK. Many people mistakenly interpret the diet’s rules as being lean-meat heavy, and use that as an excuse to eat a lot of meat, but that’s not really the case.

            The rules are pretty arbitrary in my opinion, but you could easily get the number of carbs needed for weightlifting through either simple carbs (honey and maple syrup are paleo, as is coconut sugar) or more complex ones (potatoes — white or sweet, for example).

          • Michael Matthews

            Thanks! Glad you liked the article.

            I talk about the Paleo diet here:

            https://www.muscleforlife.com /the-definitive-guide-to-the-paleo-diet/

          • Manish Arya

            I dont understand how can anyone overeat on fuits. its calories sparce food. 1 apple is 120 odd calories, so one need to eat atleast 20 apples a day just to reach 2400 calories

          • Michael Matthews

            I know a girl that eats over 20 bananas per day plus a bunch of other fruit. Heh.

          • Probably Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram 😉

          • Michael Matthews

            Haven’t heard of her.

          • Grace

            I used to know a girl who ate 50 bananas a day on a raw food diet..but then she discovered it wasn’t a very balanced diet..now she only eats raw til 4pm and processed food the rest of the day 🙂

          • Michael Matthews


          • Tomislav

            You are misinformed, she never eat ONLY bananas, she just stated that she CAN eat it. Now she eat raw til 4 because she discovered that cooked food is not so bad (and its more satisfying probably). The diet is still balanced high carb vegan. I assume we are talking about Freelee.

          • I saw her videos a year or so ago and she was claiming that she only ate fruit all day. A very stupid diet.

          • Tomislav

            There is not only fruit in her diet, but it is a staple.

          • Fair enough. Still, a very stupid diet. 😛

          • Tomislav

            You are entitled to your opinion 😛

          • A century of research has shown us what our bodies need nutritionally to thrive and low-protein, vegan dieting is fundamentally at odds with this. This is especially true for fitness folk.

          • Tom

            Spinach has more protein calorie for calorie than steak.

          • Michael Matthews

            Doesn’t matter unless you’re going to eat buckets of spinach every day.

            PDCAA scores aren’t equal either. Meat is higher.

          • As Mike is trying to put across…fruits and vegetables don’t have *everything* your body needs. Sure, some have protein and fats (take red peppers for example), but they’re a highly inefficient source of proteins and fats. Grab nuts, avocados, or olives for fats instead of veggies. Eat animal meats for proteins (vegans can get it from tofu or other sources). A diet consisting of solely fruits and veggies is not a healthy diet.

            Calories and macros aren’t your only concern when trying to have a healthy diet.

          • Rob N

            I think you’re alluding to *macro* nutrient deficiencies, not micro. If you mean protein, that’s a macro nutrient. Fruits and vegetables are the most dense source of micro nutrients we can eat.

            Also, all of your reasoning stands behind fructose being bad, which does not distinguish between fruit and table sugar. The two produce significantly different results, which you even admit, so to cite research solely on fructose as a chemical is irrelevant. Most large scale health studies and health institutes recommend eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, not meat, dairy, bread, milk, etc.

            Articles like this spread misinformation and encourage unhealthy eating.

          • Michael Matthews


            Veggies do not have a lot of protein. That is a simple fact. Yes they have many vitamins and minerals, but these do NOT replace the macronutrient of protein in any way.

            Did you even read the article? It says that fruit is GOOD for you, and that fructose IN FRUIT is most definitely not a problem.

            I’m confused.

          • Phyto Warrior


            Thanks for the information on fruit and fructose. I think that some gym bro-scientists are over using fructose as a buzzword and this information was long overdue. My only quibble is this comment, “Veggies do not have a lot of protein. That is a simple fact.” Are you saying that plant based foods do not contain enough dietary protein for the typical human? If so, what science are you using to formulate this opinion? I would also like to say that there are ample plant based sources which are fortified in B12. Iron can be found in many plant based sources, but certainly not all.

          • Michael Matthews

            Thanks for the comment!

            If your body doesn’t need more than the RDA of protein (if you don’t exercise regularly), you could do fine with only plant proteins.

            If you’re engaging in regular, intense weightlifting, however, the MINIMUM amount of daily protein you’ll want is about .8 grams per pound of body weight.

            When you’re dieting to lose weight, your body can benefit from even more.

            This can be achieved with plant-based proteins, but it’s much harder to do without also EXPLODING your carb and fat intake…

          • Iris

            Veggies consist of amino acids, which can be directly build in to protein the way the human body needs it.
            Proteins from animals need to be broken down first to be rebuild again in the right protein structure for humans.
            That’s why veggies are the best source of protein, these are the building blocks of the protein, while the animal protein is not yet ready to be used and thus costs the body more effort.

            Therefore, even if plant sources of protein are less easily available for the body, it is a better source to get in proteine and takes less effort for the body.

            Next to this point, I really liked the article. Thanks for the information! I do wonder still, how Fullyraw Kristina (Google it or find her on youtube) was hyperglycemic before and healed herself eating an abundance of fruit that is really unbelievable, and still be as slim, healthy and skinny as she is. But still, I’m a bit scared of the impact on the liver. So i’m confused.. But your information is helpful so thanks!!

          • Michael Matthews

            Thanks for the comment but I’m sorry to say you’re just wrong about the quality of animal vs. plant proteins. Check this out:


            Very-high-carb and low-protein, low-fat dieting is unhealthy. People like her will have to change their ways at some point or face serious health implications.

          • Michael Matthews

            Did you even read this article? It’s pro-fruit. I eat several servings of fruit per day.

          • juan

            Correct me if I am wrong. As far as I know, protein found in vegetable sources is not 100% available. It is there but it is not 100% going to become muscle.

          • Michael Matthews

            I address this in this article:

            https://www.muscleforlife.com /the-best-protein-powder-for-women/

          • skyl

            ~ Oysters and liver are the most dense source of micronutrients you can eat.

          • Michael Matthews

            Nice! 🙂

          • alex

            are you kidding me, fruits and vegetables have more nutrients that animal sources!!

          • Michael Matthews

            Not across the board. Take iron and B12 for example.

          • pizza.princess

            If you want to feast on animal flesh – fine. But don’t try and spread LIES about fruits and vegetables not being high in iron and B12 vitamins.

            Silly, silly man.

          • Elle Drake

            If you think that’s true, you need to watch some of Freelee or Durainrider’s videos

          • Michael Matthews

            If you read the article, I debunk it. Veggie protein is complete, but in some cases absorption is an issue (hemp sucks, for instance).

          • TommyTCG

            What is a ‘healthy fat’ Mickey?

          • Michael Matthews

            Anything but trans fat, “Timmy.”

      • TommyTCG


        • Michael Matthews

          Magnets? How do they work?

    • Buzzer

      Really? I’ve seen plenty of pictures of gorillas with beer bellies… bellies that would make a human doctor suspect them of encountering diabetes in a few years. (In fact, you can google for articles about primates with Type-2 diabetes due to the fruit-rich diets fed to them in zltoos!)

      Also, there are fruitarians and vegans that have given up because they gained weight… along with other health problems!
      Look at:
      Watch YouTube videos by Jolita Brilliant, Kostayoga, kimxxxyyy, and probably more that I haven’t found yet. (DurianRider videos tends to overtake the search results when you look for “80/10/10 weight gain)

      • veseloiu

        Gorilla big belly? In order to digest vegetables the stomach needs to be larger (multiple stomachs in some animals) and gut needs to be longer in order to extract the necessary from the cellulose-rich diet. this is why probably all /most vegetarian animals /herbivores tend to have larger bellies than similar-size carnivores. That’s not because of fat. Having said that, overeating sugars-rich fruit can get you fat , that what bears do in preparation for hibernation

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  • Bethan Davies

    Don’t be too quick to blame Lustig.
    I’ve just read his book and what he says is that it’s harmful to consume fructose when it’s not in it’s natural form, ie. as HFCS or in drinking too much juice. He actually advises that eating fruit in it’s natural form is fine because the fiber slows the digestion of the sugars and reduces the bodies insulin response. I quote “fruit is good for you, because it also contains fiber” (page 119 – Sugar the bitter truth). His point was that fructose is never found in isolation in nature but that we have found ways to remove it from it’s natural fiber rich sources and inject it into all kinds of convenience foods. The solution he recomends is actually a very sensible diet rich in fiber, whole grains, fruit, veg, no processed foods and no soda or sugar laden drinks and “never diet!”.
    Lustig actually makes a great arguement against the food industry and offers really interesting insights into how sugar affects our bodies through hormonal responces. You can’t blame the guy because aspects of the media completely mistook his point and decided to pick out one tiny part of his arguement and sensationalise it to make a story. If you get the chance I’d recommend the read, even if you don’t agree with him, he does make some interesting points.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks for the comment!

      I actually agree that Lustig’s research has been a bit bastardized and now he’s just known as the “anti-fructose” guy.

      I don’t blame him for the “anti-fruit” movement, although he’s often cited in defense of it.

      And BTW, HFCS is essentially the same as table sugar–about 50% fructose and 50% glucose. Consumption of both should be limited.

  • Dean

    From what I’ve heard from most anti-fructose campaigners they would actually totally agree with your article. Fruit in moderation is very good for you but refined HFCS is really bad.

    • Michael Matthews

      The informed ones would agree, yes, but you might be surprised how often people write and ask about fruit because so and so says it’s bad…

  • I used to eat a lot of fruit every day. I work nights and by myself so to stay awake I pack a lot of fruit with me. We’re talking a bag of clementines (about 20 per bag), a pound or two of strawberries, a bag of grapes with 3 apples, a pound of cherries, etc and that’s just for dinner. When I get home I have a big salad with tomatoes, a few peaches, blueberries, etc, etc. It’s a lot of fruit and I worried about my health. These days I’m trying to introduce more lean proteins and cut down on very sugary fruits like bananas and clementines. Meh…I don’t know if it’s making a difference.

    • Michael Matthews

      Wow that was a LOT of fruit. I wouldn’t recommend eating that much every day.

      Try to get about 40% of your daily calories from protein, 40% from carbs, and 20% from fat. It’s a much better balance…

  • Tha Chad

    as far as counting calories goes where would i find out how many calories are in grapes, apples, bananas, ect??

  • Vishwanath Ramdas

    i am very happy if the message is spread that fruit eating is bad. i truly believe that fruit eating is bad for others so that it reduces the prices for fruit for fruit eaters like me..

    jokes apart, i believer that fruits have to be eaten wholesome and fruits like most things natural are a complex mix of things that have counter measures inbuilt.. for example a small bite of orange skin after an orange would have balancing effects embedded and similarly pomegranate eating with a little bit of inner skin is also very healthy..

    final point is that so many near human species gorge on fruits and plant fiber and there are not many effects.. balance though is important

    • Michael Matthews

      Haha yup, I totally agree. Fruits in moderation are a great source of carbs.

  • Laura

    I’m 24, i’ve eaten vegetables+fruit and nust for almost a year, did my sins once in a while and was the lighest weight ever in my life. Started adding some brad and cheese or yogurt and was good. In he last 6 months i’ve gained 11kilos, my shape is ‘puffy’, i have insulin resistance and can’t seem to drop a single pound. Started the iQuit sugar program 4days ago, against all my beliefs, just to see if it helps me. I’m going crazy with all the claims that fruit is ‘poison’ but i’m willing to éxperiment. I just wanted to find out it’s a lie..!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks for sharing! Fruit is totally fine, trust me.

      How much do you currently weigh?

      • Laura

        Thank you for still answering on this post. I’m 64 kilos now. Do you think yoga+bike rides are enough exercise?they used to be but now i don’t know anymore.. I read in that IQS blog a post where it’s being claimed that exercise does not help you loose weight… Go figure.

        Congratz on your feedback to your readers!!

        • Michael Matthews

          Cool on your weight.

          That may be enough depending on how your metabolism is (in terms of speed).

          Are you tracking what you’re eating? If so, how many calories per day? And what about cheating? How often do you go off your diet and what do you eat/drink?

          Exercise definitely helps you lose weight.

          My pleasure on the feedback!

          • Laura

            True that, my metabolism is not my greatest fan. You are very kind to take the time and reply, i promise i wan’t take any more advantage of it… But is there anything that can be done take the metabolism up a noch? I know building muscle will help but apart from that…
            I could never count calories. I searched the calories in the food i usually eat but i don’t count them daily. From now on i’ll be eating fruit and vegetables and nuts, maybe some rice now and then. I eat some dark chocolate (85% at least) and eat plain, homemade icecream one time on weekends. I know i have to cut that one out !!
            Last thing: what about the insuline resistance? Oh, and out of curiosity, is there a trick for someone who has never been the runner type to be able to do it?

            Thank you sooo much!

          • Michael Matthews

            My pleasure on the reply.

            Well the #1 best way to speed up your metab is to start lifting weights. That, combined with a high-protein diet, just works really well.

            Are you against lifting weights or?

            Regarding your diet, unfortunately just eating clean isn’t necessarily enough for weight loss. It’s energy in vs. energy out, and that’s why tracking the energy you put in is important.

            Check out this article:

            https://www.muscleforlife.com /what-is-if-it-fits-your-macros-and-does-it-work/

            Hope this helps!

          • Laura

            Well, the only reasons I have never been into lifting weights is that it looks boring and J can’t afford to go to the gym right now to do something more dynamic. Even so, i just read a bunch of articles you wrote and it got me curious.. But i’m just not confident that doing it at home will make me see any results…

            I’ve also read the Article about cinnamon and insuline resistance.. Awesome, i love it and will use it every chance i get now!

            Thankyou so much for the advice!

          • Michael Matthews

            Haha ah okay, I understand. Hmm well some body weight training at home might be good?

            https://www.muscleforlife.com /the-ultimate-bodyweight-workout-routine/

            You can definitely make gains with home training.

            Nice on the cinnamon! I use it every day too. 🙂

  • mark

    Good analysis. I note this is 2month old, but I just want to point out, that another huge consideration not mentioned is ‘nutrient timing’. Consuming a large amount of sugar when you don’t need it, is fundamentally different to consuming it when when your body does i.e the glycogen window post exercise such as running. If you want to consume sugar in any form, post exercise it the ideal time – run, weights or whatever. Also, if your going to have refined sugars in a drink, whilst HFCS whilst chemically is almost same as ‘sugar’, it assures your consuming a ‘processed food’, and i’d rather trust bees to make say honey, than the FDA to protect me from possible contaminants in processed food.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Mark!

      That is correct, post-workout is a good time to enjoy some high-GI carbs.

      Agreed on the HFCS point. There’s also the GMO issue…

  • Mukta Tolani

    Excellent article! ! Well… DETOX diets are based on eating fruits and vegetables so theres no way FRUITis toxic for the body. People are advised to avoid Banana mangoes while on a diet but I have consumed 2-3 mangoes daily and a dozen litchies n sum more fruit , yet lost weight in a healthy way.

    You made it clear thru this write up!

    • Michael Matthews


      Fruit could probably become a problem if you ate it until you got sick, haha.

  • TrevorL

    Good article but I think you are misrepresenting Lustig. It’s been a long time since I saw his lecture but I don’t think he has ever questioned the eating of fruit. His target was fructose which has been added to food, particularly soft drinks, in the form of corn syrup.

    He makes the point that there is no problem with natural fruit as, although we are “programmed” not to feel satiated by fructose” the fibre content would fill you up before you ate too much.

    I’m sure we are all agreed that anyone serious about their weight would avoid corn syrup whenever possible.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks for the comment!

      Lustig is anti-fructose, and his research is often used to rail against fruit.

      Some of his claims about how fructose apparently affects the body are downright wrong, though.

      Ironically HFCS is almost identical to sucrose, but yes there is research to indicate it’s less satiating. There’s the GMO issue as well.

      • Lady D

        Sorry, but you are totally wrong. I have seen about 3-4 complete lectures on Sugar by Lustig and what u say is wrong. He has said that when it comes to fruit(not juices) the body reacts much differently because of the presence of fiber. In one video he said that it is as if fructose is the poison and fiber is the natural antidote. So NO, he is totally not against whole fruits! Against juices(natural or processed) YES he is, but against fruit NO he is not.

        • Michael Matthews

          You’re correct. I say he’s against FRUCTOSE, and his research is used to rail against fruit. Not HIM railing against it, but his RESEARCH being used by OTHERS…

          • Nicki

            Lustig is also overweight, which makes it hard for me to take him seriously as an authority on anything health related.

          • Michael Matthews


  • Nic Joanis

    M-O-D-E-R-A-T-I-O-N !!!

  • Joe

    Hi Mike,

    I am a certified personal trainer, endurance trainer and boot camp coach. I came across your article while researching fructose-intake because quite honestly I disagree with some of my colleagues about it’s negative effects. At least from an all-encompassing view.

    I’m interested to hear your opinion on the difference between high fructose intake in the form of “free sugar” versus in whole food nutrition (i.e. whole fruits).

    The reason being that I personally (and several of my friends) have obtained extremely positive results from a diet high in fruit (namely bananas and dates) as it relates to my ultramarathon training/races.

    Free sugars on the other hand tend to be absorbed much faster into the bloodstream and aren’t metered in terms of absorption when they lack a fiber component.

    Obviously the biggest variable is that I am using what others would see as a large amount of fruit for fuel rather than mere sustenance…so the fructose is going to be burned promptly.

    I don’t tell my clients to shy away from fruit…in it’s whole form…only fruit juices and other forms of “free sugar”. It can be excellent fuel during a high intensity training session.

    • Michael Matthews

      I’m totally in agreement.

      I think the research makes it pretty clear that free fructose is not a good sugar. Glucose is much better. This is why high-fructose corn syrup isn’t a good choice, and neither is fruit juice. A little here and there won’t matter, of course, but regular consumption is not a good idea. The fructose in fruit, however, is digested differently.

      For exercise fuel, sucrose is a better choice as it’s about 50/50 glucose and fructose.

  • Here’s the part that is missing from your quote, which is the most important point, as discovered by French chemist Augustin-Pierre Dubrunfaut in 1847. “…to form the disaccharide sucrose. It is one of the three dietary monosaccharides, along with glucose and galactose, that are absorbed directly into the bloodstream during digestion.” Literally it means fructose alone can in concentrated doses be harmful, due to the lacking amount of glucose to bind with, and will not be absorbed into the bloodstream, however naturally occurring fructose as in fruits and veggies it is combined with glucose in order to form sucrose which the body can easily (directly) absorb into the bloodstream. This is the main point that every single opposing post misses, but one simple search on google brings you this information if you take the time to read the entire paragraph. You might suspect that the opponents of natural foods such as fruits have a hidden or alternate agenda, however I’m not here to speculate on that. Great looking blog by the way 🙂 My last point would be; Sugar as such is not part of the food pyramid, so why is it a part of our diet?

    • Michael Matthews

      Great addition, Lasse!

      There’s definitely proof that pure sucrose as a sweetener is not good, and that an option high in glucose is much better.

      • I agree anything that has been altered through processing and therefore much more concentrated than that which is naturally occurring responds differently in the body. Naturally occurring sugars as in fruits are perfectly balanced to combine into sucrose which the body understands, and therefore can immediately absorb into the bloodstream and turn into vital fuel. On the other hand artificial sugars such as refined and processed clogs up due to the imbalance between glucose and fructose which in turn doesn’t allow to bind properly into sucrose. We have for some reason decided that we as humans know better than nature, and since we made that decision, our health and lives have turned in some ways for the worse.

        • Michael Matthews

          Exactly, I totally agree.

          • If I may speak frankly, No offense, but I would be more concerned about consuming most of these high protein and various supplements I f.ex. see on your site like Whey etc than natural whole food any day 🙂 I see so many people nervous about for example going vegan, yet they seem to have no qualms with consuming toxic waste that is being promoted as food… I can’t quite figure that logic out lol

          • Michael Matthews

            I totally understand. Labeling all protein supplements “toxic waste” is extreme, but the truth is there ARE a lot of crap protein products out there. You really don’t know what you’re getting in a lot of cases…

          • lol I wasn’t specifically referring to supplements as toxic waste but rather all these heavily processed foods, chock full of chemical sweeteners and colors etc. Not all supplements are bad I totally agree, but 99% of processed foods are more or less harmful, if consumed for longer periods of time. I am constantly in conversations with people concerned about protein intake should they go vegan, yet no issue with that mcdeath they just consumed hours earlier lol

          • Michael Matthews

            Haha yeah many supplements fit that description, and it really depends on what type of processing we’re talking about.

            Furthermore, something that might be theoretically bad doesn’t always matter in the long run. I think the ideal type of lifestyle is one where your healthy habits vastly outweigh your unhealthy ones, thus preventing them from even having a tangible effect, you know?

          • I would agree there, healthy habits should preferably outweigh unhealthy ones. We all have our demons and such, no doubt and we are all here for the same reasons, to learn to be more connected.

          • Michael Matthews

            Well said. 🙂

      • GLUTTON


  • The argument against fructose in the lecture was that people drank fruit juice in conjunction with a diet high in High fructose corn syrup. No one argued against eating too much fruit (since it contains fiber and other nutrients) but rather fruit juice spiking your insulin levels at the same degree as cokes – and a diet with lots of hidden HFC in our foods

    • Michael Matthews

      That’s true but quite a few of the claims against fructose just aren’t supported by literature. It doesn’t directly induce fat storage, and the liver toxicity claims are dubious at best..

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  • AgeUke

    There was an excellent program on BBC UK yesterday evening about the same topic but in relation to fat vs sugar, the reults were surprising. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mgxf, maybe it will come to BBC America but worth using a proxy to check it out otherwise. It was with great pleasure that I was already aware of some of the factors based on reading this very same blog and accompanying books. Always nice when stuff you read is further validated elsewhere. Thanks Mike

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! I’ll check it out!

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  • Billy VanCannon

    Great article. I have seen this argument many times and agree with refined sugar and fruit juice. But how many 300 lbs guys sitting in their mom’s basement blame apples and bananas? The 4 pizzas and 8 bags of chips had nothing to do with it. It is just hilarious if you think about blaming fruit.

    • Michael Matthews


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  • tomasd

    I eat a raw vegan diet (mainly fruit) and aim for 3000-3500 calories a day. This is about 500g sugar and 700/ 800g carbs. Many people (ultra-marathon runners, cimbers etc) live this way and thrive! The problems with excess sugar exist only when fat intake is moderate- high. Keep fat to the bare essentials and sugar won’t fatten you up. De Novo Lipogenesis is insignificant in humans. I’ve never felt this good; all of my mental health issues are cleared up and I feel amazing constantly.

    • Michael Matthews

      While statements like sugar intake doesn’t matter unless fat intake is high and DNL is insignificant in humans are completely untrue, if it’s working for you, keep it up!

  • John

    I just heard a debate on BBC yesterday about whether or not fructose is a “toxin.” For the past year I’ve been living almost exclusively on a breakfast made of a paste/concoction of Greek (Fage nonfat) Yogurt with blueberries, strawberries, 1/2 nectarine, 1 small banana, blackberries, raw oatmeal, and a small handful of sliced almonds & a small handful of walnuts. For dinner I eat a large piece of grilled salmon (approx. 10-12 ounces) and a medium sized salad with iceberg lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower (2 tablespoons of olive oil and balsamic vinegar). I occasionally have an apple for lunch (2-3 times a week), and sometimes (1-2 times a week) even a second apple for a snack at night. I’m a creature of habit so I do the same every day. I felt very good about my diet, since I eat no canned/prepared foods, and drink no calories (I drink only water and coffee), until the BBC report. Now I am concerned that I should perhaps eat a little less fruit. I exercise regularly, riding my road bike an average of 150 miles a week and I run 3 miles 2-3 times a week. My weight has been stable for the past 3-4 months at 170-175 and I am 6′ 3″ tall at 63 years of age. Before I started this regimen (a year ago) I was normally at 200 pounds. If I eat less fruit, my weight will start to drop and I am concerned I won’t have the energy I need to exercise as much as I enjoy. I don’t eat breads, potatoes or pasta…should I substitute a slice of whole grain bread for an apple/banana? I know I should probably see a nutritionist, but thanks for any help you can provide.

    • Michael Matthews

      Great on what you’re doing. You’re totally fine. The fructose in fruit isn’t a problem. Fructose in something like high-fructose corn syrup can be an issue because you can skyrocket your fructose intake.

      • John

        Thank you.

        • Michael Matthews


  • rach

    this was really helpful! recently I started eating 4-6 fruits a day and it got me worried on whether that was healthy for me or not. But I guess I don’t have much to worry about. Since I’ve stopped eating rice and wheat (extra carbs/sugars), I guess Im compensating with the fruits?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! That’s totally fine.

  • Akshay Sharma

    Excellent article, Mike! Very well broken down and claims are backed by research/citations!
    Thanks a lot! 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! 🙂

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  • Jason

    I’ve read an article about men who lift in their 40s should boost up their fruit intake, namely the berry group. The natural antioxidants are quite beneficial.

    • Michael Matthews

      Sure, they’re healthy.

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  • bk

    Everyone just shut the fuck up.
    Everyone is different. I maintain 5-8% body fat for months on end and I eat a TON of fruit/veggies…. (12 bananna smoothies for example) And am incredibly healthy and built with muscle.

    • Michael Matthews

      Haha I also eat a lot of carbs and stay in the same body fat percentage, but not that much fruit. I like some variety. 🙂

  • Megan

    Great read. What are your thoughts on food combining and only eating fruit on an empty stomach (eg. Breakfast)? Thanks

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Food combining is broscience and I haven’t heard the claims about having fruit on an empty stomach…

      • Megan

        I don’t think I’ve heard of bioscience before? If you don’t mind me asking, what sort of meals do you eat that allow you to eat more fruit throughout the day? Just curious. Thanks

        • Michael Matthews

          Ah broscience = bullshit pseudoscience.

          I just include fruit in various meals. I’m into bananas and berries these days.

  • Adz

    I cant eat fruit. I rapidly gain weight when I do. I recently tried the fruit and veg cleansing diet and gained 7 pounds in 4 days!!!!! Also, all my clothes got tighter. Its not for everyone.

  • Krystal Bunting

    Hi Mike, interesting article. Stumbled upon this while looking for information on whether fructose was bad for you. I live in the Caribbean where a variety fruits are readily available (in my case in my backyard). Thanks for the informative article. Will definitely continue eating the fruits available to me 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Enjoy your fruit! 🙂

  • Helen Hines

    Yes, I believe you can gain weight when you eat too much fruit. I’ve gained weight from eating way too much sweet persimmons during one fall season. I love fruit and can over induldge on it. Even a good healthy food can be bad if its over eaten. Everything in moderation is the key to a balance healthy diet!

    • Michael Matthews

      You definitely can. Eat too many calories and you gain weight, period.

  • Mike, can fruit effectively replenish muscle glycogen? For instance, how does 100g of carbs from apples compare to 100g of carbs from potatoes for replenishing muscle glycogen?


    • Michael Matthews

      Good question. The potatoes are going to be better because the fructose needs to be converted by the liver into glucose before it can be used whereas a starchy carb like potato has no fructose–just long-chain “complex” glucose-based carbs.

  • Saib

    I love watermelons. So last summer i basically went 2 months eating them every day for almost every meal (had a meaty dinner though). Lost a crapload of weight. Most of it being muscle. Luckily had 0 healths problems related to that, but the loss of muscle was a huge waste. Having read BLS, i know better now than to do stupid things like that.

    • Michael Matthews

      Lol well that’s one way to learn haha

  • Ray

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been suffering with gout for the past month, as well as last year, about the same time of year. I believe it was caused from eating too much asparagus from my garden. I was eating it pretty much everyday.for about 2 months. It’s supposedly one of the few vegetables that are high in purines, and can cause high uric acid levels, which can crystallize in one of your joints , and cause a lot of pain.

    One of the things I do when I start getting “sensations” in my big toe or knee, is eat a lot of cherries, and tart cherry juice. I’ve had the gout over ten years off and on, and I believe cherries help.

    I’ve been Googling anything about gout, and discovered that there’s a correlation between fructose and uric acid levels.
    I planted a few fruit trees in my yard a while back, and I’ve been thinking , “Now what? Don’t eat fruit?”

    Thanks for this post , and helping me put things in perspective.

    • Michael Matthews

      Arg I’m sorry to hear that. I used to eat a lot of asparagus too and actually cut back on it to avoid any issues.

      Interesting on the fruit correlation. Restricting fructose intake isn’t that big of a deal, really. Still plenty of yummy carb options.

  • titanoscar

    I have fruit in the morning and in the evening. But I don’t eat any food or drink any liquids with added sugar. I think some sites on the internet are just going overboard with the notion that you’re headed for obesity by eating fruit of almost any amount.

  • Grrrrrrrrr

    Late goer and just read this now. Very good information. I’d also like to see the statistics on how many of these people in the study simply sat on their asses all day and did nothing in the way of exercise. I guess I can stick to my diet of chicken, fish, fruits, vegetables and some beef and pork here and there. I wouldn’t even try to eat that much fruit in the run of a day. That’s just crazy!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Yeah we have to pull from a lot of obesity research. Your diet sounds great.

  • fredman

    Just remember, a guy with a last name, Lustig, cannot be taken seriously! (Lustig is a German word which means funny, or comical.)

    • Michael Matthews


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  • Healthy Living

    Michael Mathews. Just an FYI. 100 calories of spinach has MORE protein than 100 calories meat. Also the human body doesn’t need no where near as much protein as main stream media wants us to believe so they can continue to sell us meat. Theirs a lot of economics behind it. I challenge anyone to name a person with a protein deficiency. You cant because it doesn’t exist. Check out these sources:

    Freelee the banana girl
    Dr. Mcdougall
    The China study

    • Michael Matthews

      That’s a silly way of comparing things because unless you’re going to eat buckets of spinach every day, meat is a much more practical way to get protein.

      The China Study is horribly flawed. Check this out:


      Banana girl is such a troll. Here’s her formula: A) Have good genetics. B) Burn a shitload of calories exercising every day. C) Attribute benefits of A & B to a ridiculous, unhealthy diet. D) Profit??

      Real research on the protein needs of athletes, conducted with professionals that can’t afford to be bullshitted:


  • What’s really bad is the glucose/fructose combination = sugar (the stuff we put in our tea/coffee and cakes). It’s made up of one molecule of glucose and one
    molecule of fructose. The combined potency of fructose and glucose is as follows – as the fructose proportion heads to the liver for its metabolism it has little impact on blood glucose levels. The glucose proportion performs this role and stimulates the pancreas to provide insulin. Hence we have triglycerides being formed, courtesy of the fructose, and they are able to be stored, thanks
    to the glucose causing insulin to be provided. Food manufacturers may like to argue that all sugar is equal – but, when it comes to enabling fat to be stored, the glucose/fructose combinations are particularly fattening!

  • Kanika

    Thank you for your article, I was just researching lower GI sweeteners to help my oatmeal taste a bit better and got pulled into the spiral of ‘The Horrors of Fructose’ through looking up agave… Needless to say in a couple of hours I was starting to believe that having and apple or some blueberries every day was the reason I was having so many issues with digestion and leaning out >_> For crying out loud, thank goodness intuition kicked in and I realized that fruit shouldn’t be a problem for liver health and whatnot I just wasn’t sure scientifically why. Who doesn’t love reading around the internets figuring out new knowledge :). This was just a well put together article that included studies that vibed a bit better with me, and also a good exercise in how now to fall into every doomsday extremist view that you come across. I will just stick with whole fruits and maybe some stevia from now on, Thanks again!

    • Michael Matthews

      Haha I’m glad you found my article! You’ll be totally fine with your fruit and even a little agave every day doesn’t matter. It would only be a problem if you were using a LOT, you know?

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  • Morgen

    Wow…if too much fruit is your problem, I’d say you’re doing pretty darn good lol

    Thanks, Mike! Now, I have another excuse to eat more fruit lol hooray! 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Haha enjoy. 🙂

  • TommyTCG

    It’s the carbs that fatten.. not the calories. Digested carbs first top-up the liver and muscle glycogen stores, the rest is rapidly converted to bodyfat in the cells’ mitochondria via the Krebs cycle. Human Physiology. Vander, Sherman and Luciano, PhDs, U of VA.

    Fructose in all fruit converts directly to bodyfat in the liver. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009. Kreis R, Faeh D, Bortolotti M, Tran C, Boesch C, Tappy L.

    More than 15-25 gms of fructose daily, (3 pieces of fruit), raises uric acid levels, which in turn raises BP, causes fatty liver, possible kidney and other excess uric acid damage. Johnson R. Dr. U of CO. 2012.

  • Kevin

    If I’m bulking and all my carbs came from sugar (Not just fructose) would that lead to more visible body fat than what my surplus intends for just because of the excess fructose I’d probably be taking in?

    • Michael Matthews

      All carbs from sucrose? Lol that’s a bad idea.

      • Kevin

        Haha I know, it’s not like I would actually do that lol it was just a question so I don’t freak out if I have like a pint of Ben & Jerry’s or have a day where I take in an unusually high amount of sugar

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  • Plantbased

    I am a plantbased athlete/competitor and I eat 80/10/10. Fruit does not make you fat. It is a whole food providing amazing energy and optimal cellular nutrition. All this paleo diets etc people are harming their bodies by feeding it unnatural foods. Foods close to the sun/earth are what we are meant to eat and thrive on. I eat 3-4 bananas a day amongst a lot of other fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, cherries etc. I finish my day with a huge green salad and some fats such as avocado or flaxseed oil/walnuts. Works for me 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks for the comment! I’m glad you’ve found something that works well for you.

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  • kev

    This is a great article! I love this website. I have one question though. Would fruit be a good option for a post fasted workout if I had about 122 grams of carbs (lets say a serving of apple, orange, banana, kiwi, pear, berries, etc) with a protein shake and leucine? Ive always wondered if theres a big difference in getting carbs from fruit then lets say a complex carbs such as a sweet potato.

    • Michael Matthews


      Fruit is good but ideally you’d eat something more glucose rich with it like a starch or grain.


  • Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Feel free to comment below if you have any questions. I do my best to check and reply to every comment left on my blog, so don’t be shy!

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  • Highwayman

    Please, learn the difference between kcal and cal. Would you respect an engineer who talks about one feet when he should be talking about 1000 feet? In the article you wrote that your daily energy intake is about 3000 calories. That would be 3kcal, which equals about one gram of oats.

  • Denise K.

    Nice article.. I did drop eating fruit for a while but didn’t work on weight loss.. I was eating this while I had homemade applesauce with a cinnamon stick in my Nutri Ninja with 3 apples lol… I guess I am done with fruit for the day.. I have been at a plataeu of losing weight for a year and a half now.. nothing seems to work. l. I’m vitamin D deficiency and I was swimming 20 laps a day.. or walking a few miles but still.. same weight.. it’s getting irritating, I dropped bread and pastas, and reduced meats, less red meat.. prefer fish and no fried foods and still no results :/

  • etr

    I enjoyed reading the article. Thank you. However, it seems to give the impression that Dr. Lustig is opposed to fruit consumption. I have not watched the video, but in his book, ‘Fat Chance’, he does clearly state in Chapter 1 his opinion that the liquid forms of fructose are a problem, not fruit. “La fruta es buena, el jugo es malo,” as he puts it to the mother of one of his patients.

    • Thanks! No, he’s not anti-fruit per se but he is misleading about fructose in general. It’s not as harmful as he says when consumed in moderate amounts.


  • Mike

    Where does meat get it’s Protein from? From plants ( animals eat plant Protein), it’s just that meat has its Protein secondhand with deadly acids and toxins.(Our body stores toxins and acids in fat…. muscles have a certain amount of fat that makes up the size… so animals are no different, so eating animal Protein adds more toxins to our system)
    Animals have large muscles from the lesser Protein percentage and fats also that plants contain… enough for a large animal then enough for us Humans.
    Not enough Protein then…. Google- Vegan Gains Youtube….

  • mike

    My post from yesterday has gone!!!
    The protein from cows meat, where does it come from… plant based foods (grass and vegetation). Protein fron meat is secondhand along with toxins.Our requirement for protein is grossly over estimated… .half a gram per kilo is all we need, the rest is just toxic to our system.

  • nates1984

    I don’t understand the appeal of taking and spreading cited information from opinion and theoretical website postings, as apposed to information released by the FDA ( http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/FoodAdditivesIngredients/ucm208580.htm just an example), or citing information without reading it. You have pages cited that do not conclude with statements you have made, nor does the FDA back up your statements, such as the aspartame article you cited. It not only doesn’t indicated anything about a cocktail of diseases, it says that their results could only pertain to less than or equal to 1% of males, and 0% in females when testes for leukemia. As well as outlandish statements throughout the rest of your article that make it sound as if you are well versed on the subject when really you have only half read opinionated articles it seems. This outlandish hypothesis that I have just formed about your knowledge on the subject has more backed up information that any of your cited articles to the statements made. This misinformation (hypothesized/opinionated information presented as fact) is spread to not only the readers trusting the research you were supposed to do, but their children, grandparents, and friends as well. I Appreciate the attempt at the semi correct information you are presenting, but half of this information is completely fabricated and shouldn’t be praised when people are presenting this article to back up entire lifestyle changes. I have a massive background on these subjects and 2 degrees with actual cited information from actual reputable sources that aren’t presenting half assed information to a gullible audience who will believe whatever is presented as long as it coinsides with their current beliefs to keep them from realizing they are making complete fools of themselves

  • Jenny Hudson

    Fruits are super 4 good health. visit this site to lose weight very quickly. http://www.amazingaus.com/seven-day-diet-to-lose-weight/

  • Nathan Stern

    Thanks for the article! Not only has it assuaged my fruit guilt but it did so in a empirical yet not sterilely scientific manner.
    My only slight reservation is that even if sub-critical dose of fructose produces negligible negative outcomes, a chronic sub-critical exposure may very well have long term implications. Nothing wrong with the article, just a hole in the research I suspect.

  • Raymond Tawil

    Hi Mike! Great article, very informative. Quick question: When cutting, is it better to receive carbs from fruit, or from something like whole wheat bread or whole wheat pasta…… I know qinuao and brown rice is best so I won’t even ask.

  • Aikas

    When the most common: Glucose, Fructose and Sucrose are given in a nutritional info, should I Divide the Number of the Sucrose and Add it to the given Fructose amount as to see the Total fructose quantity?

    Keep the good work going <3

  • Michael Villarreal

    Hi Michael,
    I’m currently trying to gain lean muscle mass so I’m trying my best to avoid any unnecessary fat gain while I’m in a surplus of calories. I have always enjoyed eating fruit daily but have recently been watching videos and reading through articles such as this one about how excess fruit can be stored as body fat. If I were to eat a banana about 30-40 minutes before my workout, would those carbs be used as energy during the workout, would that empty the fructose storage in the liver? What’s your opinion on having fruit on rest days? I’ve also been looking into how much sugar is safe to consume per day and I’m not quite sure if this is including fructose sugar or not but the recommended amount is 37.5 grams so I was trying to plan a diet with a sugar intake that does not go over that amount. In my calculations I included sugar from fruit as well as added sugars to foods such as bread, peanut butter, etc. I recently read through your “Food to Gain Weight” article and
    correct me if I’m wrong but you keep track of the amount of free sugars with your limit being 50 grams per day. Also, I’m guessing you do keep in mind that a certain amount of fruit can lead to fat gain so you consume fruit in moderation according to what you mentioned in this article. So would my best bet be to keep free sugars at 25 grams maximum per day and fructose sugar at 25-40 grams per day? I know that it is difficult to determine some of these things since we are all different and there are other factors that come into play. If this at all helps, I’m 18 years old, weigh 135 pounds, 5ft 10in tall, I workout Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and I’ve been following Strength and Density from Greg O’gallagher’s Greek God Program for my workout routine. Recently I increased my calorie count from 2,100 to 2,200 for rest days and 2,500 to 2,600 on workout days because I was only maintaining the same weight instead of gaining weight like I should be in order to gain muscle mass. Thanks, and I have to say your articles are filled with very helpful and useful information so keep up the great work!

    • Hey Mike,

      Having some fruit before training is totally fine. I’ve always liked to do a mixture of glucose- and fructose-rich carbs.

      Remember free sugars are those added to foods, which usually means processed/junk foods. If you’re getting the majority of your calories from relatively unprocessed foods, you won’t have any issues there.

      This may help you:


      Cool on what you’re doing. If you want to maximize muscle growth, you’ll want to train more frequently.

      This may help you:


      • Michael Villarreal

        Okay thanks! So would you only recommend fruit before working out and not later in the day or during rest days? Also, from reading the article you sent me I know that oats are a good choice for a carbohydrate source and I have been getting about 1/4 of my daily calories from them but I’ve also been using 12 grain bread, bagels, and I’m planning on using rice cakes. Are these healthy options or would they be considered as not recommended since they are processed foods? The problem I’m having is that I’m starting college this Fall and I want to create a healthy and effective eating plan but also keep it low in cost because I will be on a budget. Thanks again for the feedback!

        • You can eat fruit whenever you want. I personally eat about two cups every night around 9:30.

          Yup those are fine but make sure you’re eating 2 to 3 cups of veggies per day too.

  • Matt Smith

    Glucose and NOT Fructose is the primary fuel for your body. To say glucose and fructose are similar fuel wise is just ignorant.


    • Hi Matt,

      They are both sources of sugar for the body and both accomplish the purpose of providing the body with glucose as fuel. They are similar, fuel-wise.

      Regarding your article, excess of either glucose or fructose will have adverse health effects, so demonizing fructose alone is misleading.

      • Matt Smith

        Not “demonizing” anything. Again glucose – not fructose – is the basic sugar used by the body as fuel. Fructose needs to be converted by the liver into glucose before it can be used by the body as fuel. The liver also converts fructose into unhealthy fats and acids that in addition to converting fructose to glucose. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/difference-between-sucrose-glucose-fructose-8704.html

        • The problem with fructose is eating too much of it, but that’s basically impossible to do with just fruit. You’d have to eat a lot of HFCS, which is obviously a bad idea.

          • Matt Smith

            The “problem” is that we are eating too much sugar. Way way to much sugar. And telling folks they can safely eat 3-6 bananas a day – that they can safely ingest 45 -90 grams of sugar from just those bananas a day again is just ignorant. Heck 90 grams of sugar is way over the recommended daily sugar consumption level for adults. http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/01/07/462160303/new-dietary-guidelines-crack-down-on-sugar-but-red-meat-gets-a-pass

          • Matt Smith

            And since our bodies DON’T NEED fructose, the elimination/reduction of fructose consumption is a logical start to reducing a person’s overall daily sugar consumption.

          • Arman Kehlhofer

            so the problem with the average persons diet is fruit? please.

            let’s try reducing the ‘average’ persons overall daily sugar intake by cutting out the bullshit sweets and shit they are eating. the ‘logical’ start is not to reduce their fruit intake. that make be a good step later on and only if they are eating excessive amounts of fruit already.

          • Matt Smith

            so if you read the entire thread then you would know “The “problem” is that we are eating too much sugar. Way way to much sugar.” And telling folks it’s safe to include 40 grams of fructose (the worst type sugar) a day to their diet is idiotic.

          • AL

            The article says that fructose alone is bad. However, because of the phytochemicals, vitamins and fibre found in whole fruits (which obviously contain the simple sugar fructose); consuming some fructose via this method is perfectly safe and in fact healthy. Over consumption of sugar will not occur if you follow the advice he’s clearly laid out in this article i.e. avoiding sucrose which has around 50% of the sugars attributed to fructose, meaning you will not be consuming too much fructose. If we followed your advice (as Arman has already stated) then that would be illogical as it would be much more beneficial to attain those important properties that can be obtained from fruits which cannot be obtained from deserts etc. that contain sucrose. In other words, have fruit and start eliminating the deserts if your sugar consumption is a problem.

          • If by sugar you mean sucrose, we’re in agreement–eating too much sucrose is a bad idea.

            The sugars found in fruit are metabolized differently, though.

  • be’ElzA

    I’m on the Zone Diet and it makes no distinction between how much fruit is consumed, provided you maintain said level consistent with your block requirement. For me, 5 blocker, fruit is all good. I’m more concerned with the glycemic load. But I also supplement with pharma grade polyphenols.

  • Marija Josifovic


    I’m a vegetarian who mostly eats fruit, nuts, and veggies and sometimes vintage cheese and eggs. Now I have a question as concerns fruit juices: for breakfast, I usually make myself a smoothie: 1 apple, 1 kiwi, 1 passionfruit, some berries, nuts and seeds. Since I drink it, does that count as fruit juice? or would it still be whole-fruit since I blend the whole thing in and don’t lose any of it – all I do is add some water to it so it’s fluid and drinkable. You said fruit juices are bad but whole fruit is okay, so I was just wondering in which category you would put smoothies?

    Thank you.

  • Hey Mike,

    Great article! Especially when you combine healthy sources of fructose (fruits) with unhealthy sources soda, HFCS, etc.)

    Do you have a study you can point us to for a healthy daily fruit consumption for kids? I have an 8-year-old and a (soon-to-be) 6-year-old, and I want to make sure they’re not overeating their fruit. They love their berries, melons, bananas, and apples.

  • yatendra tiwari

    Hello, i was just wondering that i might b doing somthing wrong. I take a lot of fruits and vegie in evening. Its like 2 kg papaya, 1 kg muskmelon, 2 apple , 2 orange, 500 gm tomato, 500 gm carrot nd radish nd sme cabbage. Will this harm to my body?

  • Amanda

    Hi Mike!

    So when tracking macros, only include fruit as a carb and not worry about the sugar content?

  • Taylor Kuzik

    I find it amusing how health “gurus” and so-called experts will demonize just about any kind of healthy food item to convince us to avoid. I eat myself an apple, banana or pineapple a day because the fructose in them is in its natural state and overeating it is hard because you’d get full before that happens due to the fiber content. I make sure to eat a lean protein with it to keep the release stable during the disgestion process.

    • Totally! It’s all about moderation.

      • Taylor Kuzik

        The general recommendation of fruit is around 1-2 cups of fruit per day. Most fruit are low in calories relative to their volume because fruits, veggies and other complex carbs have soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble absorbs water as it’s digested and forms a gel-like substance in the stomach while insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve and helps make up the bulk of *clears throat* waste when you use the restroom. I think diabetics are recommended to stay away from fruit or other kinds of sugar because it effects their blood sugar more easily than people without diabetes. It’s the added sugars you want to avoid in products such high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, molasses, etc. However, almost any homemade sweets like brownies require some sugar.
        I have eat 1-2 cups of fruit a day but spread it out throughout the day. When you combine a lean protein with fruit or veggies, it slows down the digestion and keeps your insulin levels relatively stable. Having blood sugar spikes is something you don’t want, whether you’re looking to build muscle or burn fat.

  • Jackson R

    Mike, what about fruit when bulking? Would it possibly result in more fat gain than “complex” carbohydrates like brown rice, whole grains, etc while in a calorie surplus? How about fruit being your main carb source while bulking?

    I feel so much better throughout the day eating fruit than eating complex carbs…

    • Totally fine to have fruit! But, stick to about 25-40 grams of fructose per day. That’s 3-6 bananas, 6-10 cups of strawberries, 10-15 cherries, or 2-3 apples per day. Or, as the old advice goes, a few servings of fruit every day.

  • Clint Silveira

    what about eating 1 kg of fruit a day? will that harm my liver

    • Totally fine!

    • dave

      I eat about 1kg of fruit a day (mostly mangos, bananas, blueberries, peaches) and I find it curbs my cravings for junk food. Plus its very satiating… it helped me go from 215lbs to 185lbs pretty effortlessly.

  • Nicole Ng

    what about replacing a meal with half a watermelon (4 kilos)? I weigh 112 lbs.

    • It’s not going to make you fat, but I wouldn’t recommend eating half of a watermelon instead of a balanced meal that contains vegetables, protein, fat, etc.

  • neorich

    This is a really interesting, informative and helpful article.
    And it’s cleared up a few issues, for me, as far as fruit consumption is concerned.

    I would point out that Lustig is concerned about the vast amounts of Sucrose/HFCS and honey, maple syrup etc.

    He recommends liberal consumption of fresh, whole fruit and even small amounts of foods with some added sugar, as he makes the point that, unless we prepare everything from scratch, then it’s nigh on impossible to avoid some sugar intake.

    However, I would say that the easiest starting point would be to avoid soft drinks and fruit juices?

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