One concern many people have about fruit is the fructose content. They know many fruits have fructose and have noticed the bad press fructose has gotten. Fructose may be a problem with the modern American diet, but it is not from the fructose in fruits and vegetables. It has been added to so many foods and in such a quickly absorbable form that it becomes too much for our bodies to handle. Fructose is more slowly released and absorbed from the high potassium foods than it is when added to foods.
As with many modern problems, fructose use started through good intentions. It has a high sweet taste factor, but does not lead to a high blood sugar level or a high insulin release. So it was felt to be a way that could help diabetics control their blood sugar.
As its use became more widespread, the downside began to appear. More and more studies are showing an association with hypertension, vascular disease, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease at its present level of consumption.
It has been added to a great many packaged foods. It is now produced cheaply from corn and is the cheapest way to sweeten many food products. It satisfies the American taste for increased sweetness.
Since fructose is so prevalent in our foods, the average American gets 55 gm of fructose daily. A hundred years ago, the average American got only 15 gm daily. The characteristics of the fructose that is added to foods are different from the characteristics of fructose found in natural foods. Instead of being bound to glucose in the disaccharide sucrose, much of fructose in the high fructose syrup is the free monosaccharide. It has been found to be as much as 65% of the sugar in some soft drinks.
Another difference from natural fructose is that the form found naturally in plants is bound to fiber, whereas the fructose in the syrup is unbound and more quickly absorbed. These two characteristics may contribute to the load of fructose being presented to the liver being too much for it to handle well all at once. The result may be fatty deposition in the liver cells.
So keep those ideas in mind as you look at the fructose content of the fruits in the table. Even if 4 or 5 pieces of fruit would give you 20 to 30 gm of fructose, that is not the same as the more than 23 gm of fructose from a 12 oz can of soda.
To find other tables of potassium and macronutrient values, look here under the category of food or to have tables of high potassium foods sent to you sign up below.
The weights all are grams except for the potassium and sodium, which are milligrams. The fructose, glucose, sucrose, total sugars, carbohydrate, calories, potassium and sodium values given are for 100 grams (about 3 1/2 oz) of food.
As usual, K is potassium, and Na is sodium.
Except for the potassium to sodium ratio and the amount of potassium and sodium per serving (which we calculated), the source of data is:
USDA National Nutrient Database Standard Reference – Release 22