Everyone knows fruit is healthy for you. Since we were kids we’ve been told to “eat your fruits and vegetables.” Fruit is all natural. After all, it falls off of a tree or is plucked from a vine!
Fruit is also loaded with sugar. And we all know about sugar. So does this mean sugar is healthy for you or not?
It depends . . .
Fruits can have 3 types of naturally occurring sugars:
The naturally occurring sugar in fruit tends to be lower in calories than processed sugar and is accompanied by fiber. Fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. It does hit the bloodstream fast like candy or a piece of chocolate cake. Fruit can be a quick source of energy without sending your blood sugar into a tailspin.
And, fruit is delicious. Frozen grapes are a delicacy. Fruit salad can be made a variety of ways. And there’s a myriad of natural fruit juices available.
Fruits are also the source of many essential nutrients that are under-consumed, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid. Diets rich in foods containing fiber also may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
So fruit is definitely healthy for you.
Unless. . . .
You consume too much fruit. Which is easy to do. Fruit contains calories with sugar. Fruit can be served in different forms and it’s easy to take in excess calories.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend two cups of fruit and 2-1/2 cups of vegetables each day for a person on a 2,000-calorie diet. Fruit is about 80–100 calories per serving. So about 2 servings of fruit would cover your daily allotment.
Here’s what 200 calories of apples looks like. That’s a fair number of apple slices and would be quite a filling snack. The plate of apple slices would contain around 10 grams of fiber.
A bottle of Naked Mighty Tango, on the other hand, has 150 calories. You can drink it quickly and you may be satisfied for little while. There’s no fiber!
A lot of fruit juices are high in sugar with no fiber. READ THE LABEL! Some include processed sugar along with natural sugar to make a sweeter drink. Processed fruit drinks are not healthy for you even though they may include natural fruit juice.
Yes, natural fruit is healthy, but watch portion control and modify your daily intake.