Fruit, Should I Eat it or Leave It?
It’s summertime and if you’re like me, you’re probably floating through the produce aisle wide eyed and taking in the beautiful selection of fresh and tropical fruits that suddenly appeared! Depending on where you live, you might even have the opportunity to pick fresh berries and peaches.
In our world today, most fruit is available year round but nothing beats the taste of seasonal and even local picks!
Do you tend to eat fruit more in the summer? Or are you a consumer year round?
This might sound like a ridiculous question but it’s something to think about.
Ages ago, fruit wasn’t available all months of the year. Foods were not imported from different parts of the country or world. In fact, fruit was enjoyed seasonally and in smaller amounts.
It is suggested that individuals should eat no more than ~25 grams of sugar daily. That is really not that much. If you were to eat one medium ripe banana, one cup watermelon and a medium apple spread out throughout your day you’re already at a total of 44 grams of sugar! That is almost double of the recommendation. That doesn’t include any other additional sugar you might include in your diet. Overconsumption of fruit can become problematic, so it’s important to learn how to control fruit consumption and still gain the healthy benefits!
When fruit is seasonal, local and grown sustainably, it has more nutrition in it, which in turn gives your body more benefits. Plus, it’s usually more affordable and much tastier!
So what’s a person to do other months of the year?
In general, it’s best to stick to higher fruit consumption in the summer. This doesn’t mean go crazy, I’m thinking somewhere between 1-3 servings of fruit daily. To some, this might feel limited or confusing because we were told fruit is so important for our health. Fruit servings range from ~½ to 1 cup.
This brings me to my next point. Yes, fruit does contain antioxidants, fiber and vitamins. However, the fructose content is also another piece to consider. High doses can be detrimental to the liver or lead to unfavorable swings in blood sugar.
In fact, studies suggest that over consumption of fructose can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is associated with metabolic syndrome.
Now, this is not to make you become fearful of fruit.
Now, I am not one to give up my berry shake and you should not have to give up this food. In general, stick to lower sugar fruits like berries, cherries, grapefruit or even greener bananas. Be aware and mindful of your consumption. It’s easy to over do it and try to mask sugar cravings with eating too much fruit. I have definitely seen this a lot of many cases. Ideally grab frozen and organic varieties when available. These foods have been able to go through their natural ripening process without harsh chemicals and pesticides. I suggest keeping these on hand in the freezer.
Moving forward, be conscious of your fruit consumption. You might even notice favorable changes from digestion to blood sugar regulation and even weight!