Email from me to Ali at Chefables
August 2013

Hi Ali,

Thanks again for the conversation we had by phone a couple weeks ago. I've been thinking about what you told me since.

One of the things I've thought about a lot is sugar content in the Chefables pastries (scones, muffins, etc). All the Chefables pastries I've tasted off my kids' plates are very sweet, on par with what we call "dessert" at home. You said they were healthy because you used fruit, not refined sugar, to sweeten them. But sugar comes from wholesome sources: corn oil comes from a vegetable, corn; sugar can come from a vegetable, beets; juice concentrates and honey are classed the same as refined sugar in recommendations from the American Heart Association. I've been thinking about how much processing exactly is required before we go from a healthy fruit or vegetable to an unhealthy added sugar. I've tried searching on the web and have had a hard time finding an answer. The best I've found is the following article in the New York Times, entitled "NYTimes: Making the Case for Eating Fruit":

The article explains that the key are intact cell walls:

Fiber provides "its greatest benefit when the cell walls that contain it remain intact," he said. Sugars are effectively sequestered in the fruit's cells, he explained, and it takes time for the digestive tract to break down those cells. The sugars therefore enter the bloodstream slowly, giving the liver more time to metabolize them. Four apples may contain the same amount of sugar as 24 ounces of soda, but the slow rate of absorption minimizes any surge in blood sugar. Repeated surges in blood sugar make the pancreas work harder and can contribute to insulin resistance, thereby increasing the risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Most of the Chefables pastries do not retain intact cell walls as far as I can tell. There is no way that I could tell by looking at the finished product to tell that they contain fruit. The fruit is so pulverized the cell walls are almost certainly broken up, to release their contents into the pastry. Admittedly I'm not a nutritional expert, but my impression so far is that adding pulverized fruit to a pastry is more similar to simply adding an equivalent quantity of sugar, than to eating an equivalent quantity of whole raw fruit.

Would you please educate me and explain what leads you to a different conclusion?