We grow up being told to eat a lot of fruit. That the vitamins and minerals in fruit are powerful. And certainly, they are. But is it a good idea to turn into a fruitarian (someone who lives off nothing but fruit?) No. In fact, you should avoid eating too much fruit each day since this is dangerous. Take a look.
Fruit is high in fructose
Fruit contains fructose – a natural sugar. And while fructose is better for you than a refined sugar, like the sugar you stir into a cup of coffee, it’s still a sugar. Diabetes UK states that those who are overweight are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Eating too much sugar, even from fruit, can cause excessive weight gain and could thus promote the onset of this disease. So you should limit how much sugar you consume if you really want to be healthy.
Four smart tips for eating fruit
- Be aware of the glycaemic index of different types of fruit so you can make more informed choices about which fruit you eat each day. Bananas and grapes, for example, have a high glycaemic index, so you may want to eat these less frequently than say, an apple (low glycaemic index). This is especially important if you’re pre-diabetic (or diabetic) or are on a low-carb diet.
- Be aware of the size of the fruit you eat, or the size of the portion of fruit you eat. Instead of eating a whole spanspek, slice off a wedge and eat it. Experts agree that you should have a maximum of two servings of fresh fruit a day. And a serving is about a handful size.
- Avoid fruit juices, canned fruit in syrup and dried fruit. These all have a lot of sugar in them, but lack the fibre (and/or other nutrients) that would otherwise balance out the negative effect of all the fructose in the fruit. And in the case of fruit juice, extra sugar is often added to make it taste better.
- See your fruit as a dessert and eat it in moderation, rather than seeing it as a meal.
Some more fruit facts:
- The fruit your grandparents ate (and their grandparents) had less sugar in it, and more nutrients. That’s because commercial farming has made fruit bigger and sweeter to make it more appealing. What’s more, these fruit are picked before they’re ripe to allow for shipping so the fruit doesn’t have all the nutrients in it that it should have.
- Commercial farming uses a lot of chemicals and pesticides to keep the bugs and the birds away during the farming process. These are also bad for you. Make sure you always wash your fruit before you eat it and, where possible, look for pesticide-free or organic produce.
If nourishment means more to you than just a meal, and you want to help others find their best selves through nutrition, consider a career as a nutritionist. Trifocus Fitness Academy offers you a Specialised Nutrition Certification that will give you all the tools you need! Find out more here.