The simplest answer is NO. Don’t avoid fruit, enjoy it! Fresh fruit is a great staple to all healthy diets. Although it does have naturally occurring sugars, the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that are in fruit as well are important to our diets.
Most importantly, fruit contains fiber, which is not only essential for digestion, it also slows the absorption of the natural sugar into your system. Although I’m sure you can find evidence on this great big world wide web supporting both PRO & CON arguments when it comes to consuming fruit, I’m pretty confident if the American Diabetes Association is giving it the A-OK, we should take a deep breath and eat that banana.
Plus, fruits have lots of nutritional benefits that you should also be concerned with. It is just as important to stack our diet with good stuff as it is to avoid the bad stuff.
“Citrus and kiwis contain high levels of vitamin C. Bananas are full of electrolytes, including magnesium. If you have a favorite fruit, you probably know the multitude of goodies it contains.” ~Team Beachbody Blog
I understand the concern, sugar and carbs can be a tricky thing when you are trying to lose weight or define your body. But let’s relax and remember to assess the big picture, not just the sugary side.
So why the fuss then?
There is a lot of focus on the evils of sugar (myself included), and because fruit has sugar in it, lots of folks mistakenly associate it with foods to avoid. The sugar that you need to be cautious of is added sugar – white sugar, brown sugar, honey, agave, yes even those – because of the way your body processes it. Added sugars cause a huge spike in blood sugar which your body is not always capable of processing. This can cause the sugar (carb) to be stored as fat.
Fruit in general tends to be fiber rich. Fiber is a good pal and it slows the absorption of sugar into your system. While I would never eat a granola bar with 19 grams of sugar, I sure would eat an apple…which also has 19 grams of sugar. That apple also has over 4 grams of fiber, which will negate the effects of the fructose in the apple.
Too much of a good thing
While the sugar in fruit is not something to avoid, that doesn’t mean your body won’t feel the effects of eating way too much fruit. Trust me, I understand the possibility of eating an entire watermelon in it’s prime. It can happen. So while fruit IS good for you, it is possible to over eat any food. Moderation is key with pretty much everything (except maybe lettuce?) so be sure that you are eating a balanced diet. Two to three servings of fruit a day is plenty for most people.
This is all super good news to me, because if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a cantaloupe AND a watermelon waiting at home!