Cancer’s Favorite Ingredient

From Experience Life

The average American eats 70 grams of fructose per day — a number triple the recommended daily limit.

A study published last summer in Cancer Research shows that fructose is even more of a nutritional villain than previously suspected. More than any other kind of sugar, it appears to trigger cancer cells to divide and proliferate.

Researchers at the University of California–Los Angeles extracted pancreatic tumor cells from patients and grew the cells in petri dishes. They added glucose (another simple sugar long known to fuel the growth of cancer cells) to one dish and fructose to the other. The cancer cells used both glucose and fructose as fuel, but the fructose also activated the cellular pathway that drives cell division while triggering cellular activities that helped cancer cells rapidly metabolize both fructose and glucose.

The main source of fructose in the North American diet is high-fructose corn syrup and other refined sweeteners, such as sucrose, dextrose and maltose. U.S. consumption of high-fructose corn syrup alone shot up 1,000 percent between 1970 and 1990.

Today, the average American eats 70 grams of fructose per day — a number triple the recommended daily limit.

7 Tricks to Tame Your Sweet Tooth

The best way to limit fructose intake is to greatly reduce or eliminate processed foods and sweetened beverages from your diet. But you can further limit your total fructose intake by choosing fruits — like berries and stone fruits — that have lower fructose concentrations, and going easy on fruit juices and dried fruits, which deliver a lot of fructose per serving. Osteopathic physician and New York Times best-selling author Joseph Mercola, MD, suggests no more than 20 grams of fructose per day, with no more than 15 grams coming from fruit.

Next: Which fruit has the most fructose?

The Fructose in Fruit

Fruits are good sources of nutrients and fiber, but some contain a significant payload of fructose, too. Here’s a low-to-high listing of some commonly eaten fruits (grams of fructose in bold):


  • Peaches — 1 cup, 154 g — 2.36 g
  • Clementines — 2 fruits, 148 g — 2.42 g
  • Raspberries — 1 cup, 123 g — 2.89 g


  • Pineapples — 1 cup, 165 g — 3.50 g
  • Grapefruit — 1 cup, 230 g — 4.07 g


  • Bananas — 1 cup, 150 g — 7.28 g
  • Apples — 1 cup, 125 g — 7.37 g
  • Mangoes — 1 cup, 165 g — 7.72 g
  • Pears — 1 fruit, 148 g — 9.22 g

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Monika K.
Monika K.2 months ago


Judith Emerson
Judith Emersonabout a year ago


Jeramie D.
Jeramie D.about a year ago

Thank you for the reminder to keep avoiding sweets

Lis T.
Elisabeth T.about a year ago

Thanks for the info

Angela Padovani
Angela Padovaniabout a year ago

Thank you for the article.

Sharon Stein
Sharon Steinabout a year ago


Darren Woolsey
Darren Woolseyabout a year ago

So, some discrimination needed as to what to eat. . .

Chris Carson
Chris Carsonabout a year ago

Apples are good :) Fructose is bad :( Apples are high in fructose :( Chris is confused :-O

Shailja Mukhtyar
Shailja Mukhtyarabout a year ago

what happened to a apple a day to keep the Doctor away???

Jim Harding
Jim Hardingabout a year ago

So on the same day, Care2 has articles about the wonders of apples for preventing cancer and another article about how high fructose is deadly and apples are on the "high" list. Crazy!