IS FRUIT FATTENING?
When you’re trying to be healthy and eat well, one of the messages we get is to eat fruit or more fruit. This does tend to confuse some people because of the sugar content in fruit and how this affects our ability to lose weight. Is fruit fattening and are we sabotaging our weight loss efforts by eating it? We all know to eat more vegetables and there isn’t ever a debate surrounding that!
It is actually recommended that we eat 2 pieces of fruit a day, so I want to explore this a little further. Is fruit really good for us? Or do we just believe this because that’s what we’ve always been told?
To be honest, I have been one of those people who has been sceptical about fruit in the past. We all know sugar is bad, fruit has sugar so it isn’t surprising to question this. Most of us are mature and opened minded enough to know just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s good for you! I figured maybe fruit falls into this category.
FRUIT & SUGAR; THE FACTS
The facts are not so simple though. It does have sugar but is fruit fattening? It also has many nutrients. Eating a biscuit with the same amount of sugar as an apple is not nutritionally equal to eating that apple. If you had to choose, choose the apple. That’s not rocket science. I believe we all know that!
I believe the confusion comes from fructose being bad for you. This is fact. Read this article here and watch the video. It is amazing!
You will be converted if you can get your head around the biochemistry stuff. I won’t go into it here but in a nutshell, it’s high fructose corn syrup that’s become a huge problem. This is mainly found in processed foods which contributes to obesity and many other health issues.
From there stems the confusion. If fruit has fructose, is the next logical step to think that fruit must also be bad? Not necessarily so. Fruit has much less fructose than any processed foods and it would be almost impossible to overeat it to get to the same levels that cause health problems.
Having said that, is fruit fattening? No, eating fruit isn’t fattening BUT if you’re trying to lose weight you just need to be aware of it’s sugar and calorie content. Read about sugar and carbs here, here and here from my past posts. You can’t mung on a banana every hour thinking it’s not going to count because it’s not like eating tim tams! Fruit is not equal to vegetables. You could eat vegetables all day non stop and you probably wouldn’t get enough calories in! That cannot be said for fruit.
TWO SERVES OF FRUIT A DAY
Make sure you are aware what an actual serve is too. The following is one serve;
1 medium apple
1 medium banana
1 medium orange
1 medium pear
2 small apricots
2 kiwi fruit
1 cup of diced fruit
How many serves would you end up with in a smoothie? How many smoothies are you having a day?
If you’re trying to lose weight, stick to just the two serves of whole fruit. I would also recommend you eat them in the morning so you use that energy throughout the day. I believe fruit smoothies throughout the day can possibly sabotage your weight loss efforts without you even realising it, especially if you’re not doing a lot of exercise or moving around.
CHOOSE FRUITS THAT ARE IN SEASON
Another good rule of thumb I use is to stick to eating fruit in season. Yesterday for example, here in Adelaide South Australia, it was hailing and stormy but huge delicious bananas are available at the supermarket! In the back of my mind I try to steer to as natural as possible. Just because a banana is natural , it’s not natural that it’s available in winter.
Some great winter fruit to try include
Apples, blood and navel oranges, pears, grapefruit, kiwifruit, mandarins and tangelos!
Stick to eating whole fruit too. Steer clear of juices and dried fruit! Eating the skin equals fibre which is also essential to good health. This actually reduces the sugar uptake as the body is also dealing with the fibre. Watch a video on that here.
Bottom line, fruit is good for you and just stick to 2 serves a day (preferably the whole fruit) if you’re trying to lose weight.
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