I have heard countless stories of people who over consume fruit thinking that it is healthy for them.
Let me be clear of course fruit is very healthy for us however we really do have to watch how much we consume on a daily basis.
Those of you who know and work with me know that I always say the power is in the vegetables, fruit is good, however, it is higher in sugar than vegetables and so we have to be careful.
For the most part, sugar in fruit isn’t detrimental to you.
Actually, fresh fruit contains a natural sugar – fructose – which is much healthier if you’re suffering from diabetes, except for pineapple, bananas and some of the other tropical fruits as they have a more profound effect on raising your blood sugar levels.
Fructose will not result in higher glycaemic shifts similar to other kinds of sugar.
However I advise my clients to rather use xylitol or stevia instead of fructose, and the whole name of the game ultimately is to not even use natural sugar substitutes as a pure replacement for all the sugary foods that you used to eat in your diet.
The idea is to get you off even wanting the sweeter foods in the first place. So I look at these as a temporary solution to get your fluctuating blood sugar under control.
One thing you may notice is that many fruits often taste sweeter, particularly cherries as well as peaches, compared to more tart fruits, like the citruses; whatever the variety, only a handful of fruits contain enough sugar to make them bad for you.
Just to give you an idea let’s compare a half litre bottle of fizzy drink which has around 225 calories, 60 grams of extra sugars (typically high-fructose corn syrup) as well as hardly any nutrition.
Alternatively, a cupful of strawberries has 50 to 60 calories, about 7 grams of natural fructose, 3 grams of fibre, and is rich in vitamin C along with a good dose of vitamins and minerals – good for you I am sure you would agree.
However, you will need to watch which fructose you’re getting. There’s natural fructose and also high-fructose corn syrup. High-fructose corn syrup isn’t natural and definitely will increase your blood sugar levels.
This is one thing you need to look at when purchasing canned fruits.
A lot of it’s loaded with high-fructose corn syrup. Unless of course it states packed in natural juices, purchase both fresh as well as frozen fruits.
The American Heart Association suggests as much as 24 grams of sugar per day for women as well as 36 grams for men. However, you can certainly go beyond that when you do not make a good selection.
For instance, a couple of servings of chopped up bananas has 36 grams of sugar in fruit alone. If you include your sugars you’re getting in the majority of your food, you are far over what you need to have every day.
Not many people realize that even when we eat what is deemed healthy foods like a delicious low-fat strawberry yoghurt you are actually consuming what is similar in a can of coke, about six teaspoons worth compared to about eight in a can of coke or fizzy sweet drinks.
Yes, I know the protein and the fat in the yoghurt will slow the sugar from raising in the bloodstream however people are just overconsuming these types of foods and it is having a negative cumulative effect.
The most obvious aspect is it can cause tooth decay.
But it also leads to extra weight as well as increasing the triglycerides in your bloodstream, that have been proven to increase your risk for cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol.
Strawberries, blueberries, oranges, kiwi… the healthy list goes on and on. Fresh fruit is actually recommended as a super-healthy snack option, especially when eaten with a handful of raw nuts, but even though the fibre and other vitamins and minerals present in fruits are a good part of any kind of diet, several types can even be very high in sugar.
A lot of sugar, no matter where it comes from, may have a few significant unwanted effects. (Yes, even sugar from fruit if you eat too much of it!)
Does this suggest run from the produce aisle screaming?
Not at all. However, it may be a smart idea to restrict your fruit-based sugar consumption.
I usually consume my fruits especially berries with a fruit smoothie and then my snacks are normally low sugar fruits like apples or pears with a delicious handful of raw nuts.
Easy peasy to rush out the door with when you are time limited.
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