A Guide to Sugar

You may have heard the phase ‘but sugar is still sugar’, especially in the low carb and paleo communities. You may have also stumbled across evangelical fruitarians who eat nothing but fruit and claim amazing health benefits from doing so. As with most things related to nutrition, a balanced approach is what makes most sense.

What type of sugar is in fruit? 

The sugar in fruit is made up of a combination of sucrose, glucose and fructose. Each fruit contains slightly different combinations of these sugars. Although these sugars may sound ‘bad’, there are some critical points that make them different to how they appear in isolated forms:

  • The fibre and water in fruit increases satiety. This makes us much less likely to over consume fruit compared to say, cookies and chocolate. Fibre also feeds our healthy gut bacteria, helps to reduce inflammation, slow the absorption of simple sugars that will spike our insulin and even binds to toxins in the digestive tract.
  • Fruit is full of vitamins and is also a good source of minerals. Grapefruit, for example, contains Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and Folate (folic acid).
  • Fruits contain a wide range of phytochemicals that play many roles in keeping us healthy. These phytochemicals give fruit it’s distinctive colour and scent but also help to reduce inflammation, decrease DNA damage in white blood cells, help maintain elasticity of blood vessels and provide antioxidants.

Aside from consuming sugar in fruits, raw honey and maple syrup are also nutritious and delicious! Raw honey contains small amounts of vitamins A, B1, B6, B9, B12, C, D, and E, as well as calcium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, silicon, iron, manganese, and copper. Maple syrup contains small amounts of manganese and zinc.

The closer a sugar is to being in it’s natural form, the more likely it is to be nutritious. The more processed a sugar is, the more stripped of nutrients and the more likely your body will react to it negatively. Many of the processed foods we consume in the modern day are totally foreign to our body as they don’t appear anywhere in nature.

Examples of sugars that aren’t healthful:

  • White tables sugar, brown sugar and turbinado sugar contain almost no micronutrients and no fibre or water to slow down the inflammatory insulin response. This is why eating a cookie or chocolate bar is totally different to eating a piece of fruit, even though the sugar itself is also made from glucose and fructose.
  • High fructose corn syrup also contains no micronutrients, however, the way it affects our body’s is far more sinister than white table sugar. HFCS has been associated with a myriad of health problems such as fatty liver disease, increased LDL cholesterol and arterial damage. It has even been show to be contaminated with mercury. HFCS is often the sugar used in sodas which is dangerous because drinking sugar is far more harmful that eating it. Again, this relates to the lack of fibre and the fact that people don’t compensate by eating less despite drinking an extremely calorific and sweet drink. In fact, studies have shown that people are driven to consume even more food than they would if the sugary drink wasn’t consumed.
  • Artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols such as aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, xylitol and sorbitol are often used by diabetic people because they are low on the glycemic index so have less affect on your insulin response. Many people report gastro distress upon consuming these sweeteners and studies show a negative affect on our microbiota. These sweeteners can (ironically) cause glucose intolerance, alter the hormones associated with appetite control, impair neurological function and cause metabolic changes in the baby of a pregnant mother. They have not even been proven to help weight loss (assumedly why many people consume them), so really have no upsides at all.

As with all nutrition advice, there’s no one size fits all answer. If you are someone suffering from diabetes or blood sugar dysregulation, even fruit may negatively impact you. In this case it’s best to choose low glycemic fruits such as blueberries and cranberries, rather than mangoes or peaches. There is actually a study on how blueberries can help increase insulin sensitivity! Click here to access the study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5187542/

People with candida may also want to limit fruit intake as sugar will only feed the yeast. The same goes for those suffering from dysbiosis. However, it’s clear that not all sugar is created equal and fruit is by far the most healthful way to consume sugar!

Spinach, Blueberry & Banana Pancakes

It’s been a few weeks since we posted our last recipe and with the first day of school around the corner, we wanted to give you some ideas to start the year on a healthy and happy note.

So have you heard of the old wives’ tale that you should eat your colors? Then you’ll love these green pancakes!

Pancakes are traditionally thought of as an unhealthy breakfast, but these are actually gluten free, sugar free, dairy free and paleo. In addition, they are great way to get spinach into what is otherwise a “treat” type meal especially for kids. Continue reading Spinach, Blueberry & Banana Pancakes

Birthday Blueberry Cheesecake

It was our 3rd birthday yesterday so we wanted to celebrate with a blueberry cheesecake recipe to end the week!  Don’t worry though, we haven’t gone too crazy, this cake recipe is a vegan, refined sugar and gluten free recipe.  If you skip roasting the cashews, it’s even raw too.

We’re still a young business, but we’ve already learned so much in our 3 years.  When we started the business, it was only going to be a Corporate fruit box delivery service, but it’s turned into so much more. We’ve expanded into homes, gifting, and even events!  Along side the business growth, we’ve also added 3 beautiful children to the Fruitful Day family. We still have a long way to go, but we know that with such amazing customers and supporters by our side, this is just the beginning of a fruitful journey.  A big THANK YOU to each and every one of you who has been there for us along the way.

Now back to our recipe… blueberry cheesecake!  We just want to quickly mention some of the health benefits of blueberries as they’re always a favorite in our discovery box. As one of the most nutritious, antioxidant-rich types of fruit in the world, here are 7 reasons to include more blueberries more in your diet*:

  1. High In Antioxidants
  2. Helps Fight Cancers
  3. Amps Up Weight Loss
  4. Boost Brain Health
  5. Alleviates Inflammation
  6. Supports Digestion
  7. Promotes Heart Health


So now you can have your cake and eat it too GUILT-FREE.

Blueberry Cheesecake

Birthday Blueberry Cheesecake

(makes one square or round cake of 20cm)

30 minutes (not including soaking and setting time)

INGREDIENTS for the crust

  • 1 cup cashews
  • ¾ cup dates
  • ¾ cup cacao powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

INGREDIENTS for the filling

  • 2 cups cashew
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 6 tbsp cacao butter (melted)
  • 8 tbsp coconut cream
  • 2 cups blueberries from the Fruitful Day Box
  • 6 tbsp maple syrup


Birthday Blueberry Cheesecake

  1. Soak filling cashews in water for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Roast crust cashews for 8 minutes at 160 degrees on a baking tray. (You can omit this step for a totally raw cake, however, it does add great flavor to the crust.)
  3. Blend all the dry crust ingredients in a food processor.
  4. Add the dates and coconut oil and blend until a dough forms.
  5. Line your cake dish and press the crust mixture into the base evenly.Blend all filling ingredients except for a handful of blueberries which you can use as blueberry chunks in the filling. Pour the filling over the crust, sprinkle the extra blueberries over the top, stir them in and then smoothen the top with a spatula. (For a white and blue layer – blend all filling ingredients except the blueberries. Pour half this mixture over the crust and smooth out evenly with a spatula. Add the blueberries to the remaining half of the mixture and blend. Pour this mixture over the white layer and smoothen out with a spatula.)
  6. Set in the freezer for 4 hours or in the fridge overnight.


*Source: Dr Axe, Top 7 Health Benefits of Blueberries