Is there fructose in coconut water?

This was something I got asked on my I Quit Sugar forums a lot. I promised to get to the bottom of the conflicting information…Et voila!

DSC 0197 Is there fructose in coconut water?
coconut water green smoothie, via The Alkaline Sisters. Recipe below

In a coconut shell.

1. yes, there is in fact sugar in coconut water

All coconuts contain sugar. The levels depend on the type of coconut, and it’s age. Something to note though, even the coconuts with the higher levels of sugar still only contain around 2.95ml of sugar per 100ml, which is not a lot. As I’ve shared in my I Quit Sugar ebook, best to stay under 4.7ml of sugar per 100ml. Of course, a bottle of coconut water – which is how most of us get our coconut water – is generally about 300ml. So. In one bottle there can be up to 9g of sugar, which is 2.5-ish teaspoons.

 2. yeah, but how much of that is fructose?

Well. Not so much. And this is what counts. A Brazilian study found the sugar content of an average baby coconut to be made up of:

glucose 50%, sucrose 35%, and fructose 15%

So fructose makes up a maximum of 32 per cent of the total sugars (remember: sucrose is 50/50 fructose and glucose), and often a lot less (depending on the age of the coconut).

All of which means when you look at that total sugar value on the label, it’s a little misleading. Unlike coke or fruit juice, where we know half (or more) of the sugar content is fructose, coconut water’s sugar content is mostly glucose (which is fine, metabolically speaking).

4. can we still drink it?

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