There is conflicting advice out there about how much fruit we should eat, especially with weight loss in mind. On one hand it is full of beneficial vitamins, fiber and other beneficial compounds. On the other hand most fruit is high in sugar and will raise blood sugar levels if over consumed. So, where exactly is the middle ground?
Looking at one nutrient in isolation is not the best way to make healthy and informed choices regarding a food. While fruit may be high in sugar, it is equally high in fiber, phytochemicals, and vitamins which all work together towards overall better health. Bananas, for example, contain 14g of sugar, but on the flipside are rich in potassium, magnesium, and probiotics to promote healthy gut health. Portion control is important, so you should make sure you are only having 1 banana per day and varying your fruit intake between low and high sugar fruits, as listed below.
|High Sugar Fruit||Low Sugar Fruit|
Eating whole fruits is much more beneficial than juicing them, as the fiber in whole fruit slows down the absorption of sugar from your bloodstream and prevents sudden sugar rushes. Combining a handful of nuts with your fruit is also a great way of making sure the release of sugar into your bloodstream is slower and more controlled. Similarly, dried fruit contains a more concentrated sugar source. Always stick to fresh where possible.
As beneficial as fruit is to our bodies, keeping an eye on portion control is important too. 1 serving every couple of hours is generally enough to nourish our bodies without overloading on too much sugar (see serving size table below).
|Fruit||Recommended Serving Size|
|Apple||1 medium apple|
|Banana||1 medium banana|
|Fresh fruit juice||150 ml/1 medium glass|
|Fruit salad||3 tablespoons|
|Orange||1 medium orange|
|Peach||1 medium peach|
|Pear||1 medium pear|
|Pineapple||12 chunks/1 large slice|
|Plum||2 medium plums|
Think of fruits as nature’s candy. If your main source of sugar is from fruit rather than cakes and biscuits, then you are doing awesome at maintaining a healthy diet. There is much more research proving that high fruit intake is associated with a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke than there is research showing that the sugar content in fruit is harmful.