I must say a little part of me wants to die every time someone asks me, “Isn’t fruit bad for you because it’s high in sugar?” The answer is a resounding NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!
Listen, I don’t blame anyone for thinking this as the fad diet industry has led people to believe this atrocity. Fruit could not be better for you than the best thing imaginable (fill in the blank). Sex maybe? Why fruit is better for you than sex…hmm, totally different blog topic. Let’s just stick to getting your facts straight about fruit.
First, let’s understand WHY people believe fruit is bad. Similar to why carbs have developed a bad reputation which you can read about in my blog 3 Reasons Why You MUST Eat Carbs, fad diets such as the Atkins diet and, more recently, the Keto diet, maintain that a diet low in carbs can help you lose weight. The problem with these diet plans is that the information is not only partially accurate, it’s also VERY MISLEADING.
Is a low carb diet healthier in general? Yes, BUT not all carbs are created equal! Are you better off having a piece of fruit vs. an Atkins or Keto packaged product chuck full of chemicals and preservatives? Absolutely!
When thinking about implementing a new diet plan, try to remember that the basics will ALWAYS be best. However, ALSO keep in mind that diet companies can’t make money off of whole natural foods, so they try to make you think you NEED THEIR products by only providing you with bits of the truth.
Carbs are measured on the Glycemic Index (GI), which is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels, also known as “blood sugar.” Foods low on the (GI) scale tend to release glucose slowly and steadily. Foods high on the glycemic index release glucose rapidly. Anything below 50 is considered low, 50-70 is considered medium and 70+ is considered high. Most fruits are low, but what I want you to keep in mind is that even the ones considered medium or high are STILL good for you! Any fruit will have nutritional benefits and will be MUCH better for your health than say a refined sugar-loaded granola bar or yogurt.
Helpful GI chart: https://skinnychef.com/blog/glycemic-index-charts
Here are three benefits of eating fruits:
Eating the healthiest fruits provide amazing benefits! Studies have shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of many chronic diseases! Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories, high in fiber and help provide vital and essential nutrients for overall health and maintenance of your body, such as: potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B and folate (folic acid). These nutrients are found NATURALLY in fruit, whereas if you see them in other products, they are instead “fortified” (added).
The 2 problems with fortifying: 1. Fortifying products with more nutrients is a chemical process and how the body metabolizes these added nutrients cannot be determined; 2. Although fortified foods may correct deficiencies, manufacturers can overdo one nutrient, which may counteract the benefit. Trust me, it’s much easier to just eat fruit!
If you don’t already know this, maintaining a level blood sugar throughout the day is the BEST way have optimal energy. What is necessary to understand is how fruit affects your blood sugar. The bad rap fruit gets stems from the poorly explained difference between the sugar found in fruit vs. the sugar found in other foods and drinks.
Sugar molecules are classified as monosaccharides (single sugar molecules such as glucose and fructose) and disaccharides (more complex structures such as sucrose and lactose). The natural sugars found in fruit are a mix of sucrose, fructose and glucose. Sucrose from fruit helps stabilize blood sugar because they are disaccharides, which means they contain both glucose and fructose. Unlike food containing single sugar molecules (starches and refined sugar products) which turn into pure glucose and spike your blood sugar, sucrose breaks down into glucose and fructose, which lowers insulin. (Now try repeating that paragraph 3 times in 30 seconds!) Just kidding. The only thing you need to know about what I just explained is how fruit is metabolized is important for energy levels, because eating fruit helps the body avoid the rollercoaster of the sugar high (burst of energy) and low (energy crash).
Another added benefit of eating fruit daily is that it helps maintain a healthy weight. This is for many reasons, but I’ll name the 5 essential ones:
One, fruits contain a lot of water, so consuming them helps you stay hydrated, which in turn helps you eat less.
Two, maintaining a steady blood sugar throughout the day also helps you eat less, because you don’t ever “crash” and crave more food than your body needs.
Three, consuming fruit between meals helps your stomach release digestive enzymes that help you digest your meals more efficiently, eliminating the chance of storing more FAT!
Four, the fiber in fruit aids in having regular bowel movements, which is essential in maintaining an efficient digestive track.
Five, the fiber in fruit helps you feel full longer, which also helps you eat less.
Although my blog topics can be very beneficial to your overall health, they are not intended for the purpose of providing medical advice. All content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of published information on or through my website, blog, e-mails, programs and services. However, the information may inadvertently contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. Every effort has been made to present you with the most accurate, up-to-date information, but because the nature of diet, fitness and health research is constantly evolving, we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of our content.