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Fruit: Friend or Foe?

by Emy Breitenwischer, B.S. in Food Science & Nutrition, Concentration in Dietetics

Fruit is one of the healthiest food groups to nourish our body as it contains fiber, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Fruit is a great alternative to sweets and dessert, making it a viable snack option for people trying to shed a few pounds. With that being said, even with all its goodness, fruit is still a simple carbohydrate, meaning it contains sugar (in the form of fructose). Consuming too much fruit can actually have a negative affect on the body. Fructose is metabolized in the liver, and the liver will turn any excess sugar into triglycerides that will be stored in fat cells throughout the body. So basically the more sugar you eat, the more fat you store, be it a candy bar or a pound of grapes.

Fresh fruit digests very quickly on an empty stomach, meaning the fruit breaks down and converts into blood glucose and is almost immediately absorbed into your bloodstream for energy. Aim for fruits higher in fiber because these break down at a slower rate and regulate blood sugar levels, compared to fruits with a higher sugar content, which digest more rapidly (more ideal for exercising/training).

The best recommendation is to limit fruit intake to about 2 servings per day (unless you’re an athlete or extremely active). Below I’ve composed a list of higher sugar fruits vs. lower sugar fruits. Also try to avoid fruit juices and dried fruit, as these are often higher in calories and sugar and contain concentrated sugar or added sugars.

Higher Sugar Fruits

  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Pomegranates
  • Mangoes
  • Cherries
  • Banana

Lower Sugar Fruits

  • Avocado
  • Berries (cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries)
  • Grapefruit
  • Papaya
  • Cantaloupe

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Posted on Friday, August 12, 2016 by 1444Angel -