Fruit – Friend or Foe?
Posted under: Fitness, Food, Nutrition, Weight Lose
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- Posted by Jane Mukami
If you’re just starting your weight loss journey, one question you may be asking yourself is whether you should be indulging in fruit, fruit salads, fruit smoothies or not.
On one hand, you know that avoiding sugar while dieting is a must for success. So it would seem, since fruit is almost all sugar, this means it should be avoided.
But on the other hand, fruit should be part of a healthy diet, right? Common sense would tell you so.
What’s right? Is fruit helpful…or harmful to your progress?
Let me give you the low-down so you don’t suffer confusion on this topic any longer.
The Calorie Content
First we need to think about the calories that are found in fruit. Unlike vegetables, where you can just about eat as many as you’d like, the same cannot be said for fruit.
Most fruits come in around 50-100 calories per serving. And while this is a lot less than some other snack foods you could be eating instead, it will add up if you eat too much fruit.
If all day long you’re snacking on fruit, you can rest assured it’s going to impact your ability to experience fat loss.
1 cup of mango is
The Sugar Content
Next let’s talk about the sugar. Yes, fruit does contain sugar.
Did you know that only half the sugar found in fruit is a type of sugar that will actually spike blood glucose levels (glucose) while the other half of the sugar is fructose, which has no influence on blood sugar levels at all?
In other words, not all sugar in fruit is fructose, only half, so can you see how eating that big bowl of fruit salad, or fruit smoothie can be identical to eating a chocolate bar??
Glycemic Index (GI) is the ranking of food based on their impact on blood levels. For weight loss its imperative to eat food with low GI and fruits with low GI are grapefruits, lemon and limes, along with oranges, apricots, and nectarines.
The fruits to stay away from that have a higher GI load include grapes, bananas, dates, raisins, pineapple, kiwi, mangoes, cherries, prunes, and mangoes. Blending these high GI fruits with greens such as spinach and kale reduces the impact on blood sugar thanks to the fiber from the green vegetables.
Dried fruit and fruit juice should also be eliminated from the diet for those who are seeking fat loss results. It takes 3 or 4 oranges to make 1 glass of orange juice, which is way more sugar and calories that you eating 1 orange. Eating 1 orange also leaves you satiated longer because of the fiber, while orange juice will have you hungry in 20 minutes.
The Nutritional Density
Finally, one last thing to take into account is the nutritional density of the fruit you are eating. Fruits are more than just sugar. Most fruits will also contain a high level of vitamins and antioxidants, which can help promote optimal health. It is good to note that most of the nutrition form fruit is not exclusive to fruit and can be gotten from other foods with less calories and sugar.
Fruits also provide a great dose of fiber as well, which is an important nutrient for keeping your blood glucose levels stabilized and your cholesterol levels down.
The fiber in fruit can also help induce greater satiety, ensuring that you feel full and satisfied after each meal that you consume.
So there you have the facts to know and remember about fruit. For fat loss purposes, if you choose from the lower GI ranking fruits and keep your intake limited to 1-2 servings per day, there’s no reason you can’t include fruits on your diet plan.
Choose high GI ranked fruits however and eat too many (not accounting for the calories they contain), and you may just find yourself gaining weight.
As always, Moderation Is Key.