Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 53 seconds. Contains 779 words
It has come to my attention that people are unsure whether or not they should eat fruit and for good reason, someone told them that they shouldn’t and if they are asked “why not?” they are met with “It is full of sugar and it will make you gain fat.”
And hey ‘eat low sugar’ and ‘sugar is bad’ is the new in thing. It is cool, which means eating fruit is no longer what the cool kids do. Oh and because the sugar in fruit is fructose, this apparently makes it ten times worse.
Truth be told, eating fruits is a good thing to do. It isn’t a bad thing to do. The problem stems from a lack of context from individuals or a lack of understanding of nutrition. And let us not forget that they are probably also missing a dash of common sense. The people that try and drive fear about certain food types are unlikely to be the sort of rational professional to listen to and certainly not professional.
So is fruit, sugar and fructose bad? Well it can be. Just like water can be, the lethal dose (as in can kill you) is 90 ml per kg of bodyweight (6-10L). So yeah everything can be toxic, harmful, poisonous and even fatal depending on the dose. Remember the saying ‘Too much of a good thing’? Well yeah excess can always do harm.
What is too much fruit then? Yeah maybe 9-45 Banana’s a day is too many. For the simple reason that eating that many portions of fruit would cause you to consume an additional 1000-4500kcal just from bananas.
And if this was on top of a standard 3-4-meals a day diet then you are likely going to be over consuming calories. And in this situation the fruit would make you gain weight because calories.
To quickly demonstrate that fruit and the fructose within fruit does not necessarily lead to weight gain in calorie controlled circumstances , here is what a meta-analysis concluded on the subject “fructose does not seem to cause weight gain when it is substituted for other carbohydrates in diets providing similar calories.”.
This pretty much tells you that you could absolutely eat fruit and that it is not detrimental to your weight. But now it is the time to sell the idea that eating 1-3 servings of fruit a day is a great habit to have.
One study in particular demonstrated that increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables may be an effective dietary strategy to control weight and mitigate the risk of obesity.
Although we have to remember this is still within reason and needs to within energy requirements but those that typically ate sufficient fruit and also vegetables were less likely to over eat and as a result had a ‘healthier’ body mass index.
But look just eating more fruit and such isn’t going to make you thin, so if you need help setting up your diet then this article may help providing practical applications to your requirements – click here.
So why shouldn’t we avoid fruit then?
Well we would be avoiding fibre along with additional water, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
And hey nutrition data suggests that fruit especially apples has a pretty high fullness factor. Not only that oranges are also up there with apples on the satiety index, both of which are higher than beef and eggs which surprised me (protein is still important for fullness though folks).
So if you eat apples and oranges, you may end up consuming less energy/food for the day as you are ‘full’, which is a pretty easy way to control energy intake and perhaps lose weight.
And hey look fruit decreases the risk of developing; disease of the heart, diabetes, stroke and can improve glycemic control in type 2 diabetics.
Whilst fruit doesn’t exert necessarily exert any magical properties, having it in your diet will likely improve the nutrient density of your diet and will probably lead to other good nutritional habits and exercise habits.
Too often people completely overlook the total picture of their diet and only think about things in isolation, broaden your scope and incorporate a few servings of fruit into your diet depending on how much food/energy you require to meet your health and fitness goals.
And please if someone tells you that fruit is bad for you because it is just a watery bag of sugar then please just tell them to shoot themselves.
P.S Eating a few portions of fruit for breakfast and/or for your lunch instead of a mixed meal is not the best way to get sexy or achieving ‘optimal’ health but fruit is a beneficial cog in the machinery of your diet.