The Keto and low-carb craze has created hesitancy or even fear surrounding fruit consumption. Many think of fruit as a "dessert" instead of the health food that is it. And while eating fruit in place of dessert is a great choice, let's not neglect the amazing health promoting properties in fruit that make several servings a day great for your health!
Fructose from fruit sugar and refined sugars should not be lumped into the same category, they are vastly different! Fruits are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber- and despite recent reservations, studies going back more than forty years have shown that naturally occurring sugars in fruit are beneficial for health and do NOT promote weight gain.
Even more, overall studies show that fresh, whole fruit may actually decrease the risk of type 2 Diabetes and obesity. Additionally, randomized controlled trials have shown that eating fruit reduces oxidative stress markers and blood glucose in diabetics. WOW!
Let's take note, however, that drinking fruit juice and eating whole fruit are not the same thing. Fruit juice lacks the fiber in whole fruit that helps with blood sugar control and people don't often take into account liquid calories when assessing overall food intake, leading to overconsumption.
How much fruit should you eat? I think the answer to this question is as unique as you are, and a personalized approach should be taken, but 3-5 servings a day works beautifully for most! I am a believer in intuitive eating, meaning eat it when you crave it! Fruit is a cooling food so you may find your body desiring it more in the summer months.
Don't forget this! It's so important to eat fruit paired with a protein and/or fat to ground the sugar and keep your blood sugar stable. An example of this is an apple with nut butter, berries on top of yogurt with a scoop of collagen protein, or a fruit protein smoothie.
Lastly, it's important to consider the source when eating fruit. Fruit has some of the highest pesticide residue and some variations can be straight up toxic when grown conventionally.
Here is a list of EWG's "clean fifteen and dirty dozen" list for 2019:
CLEAN FIFTEEN (you don't need to buy organic due to low pesticide residue)
5. Honeydew melons
DIRTY DOZEN (important to buy organic because of high pesticide residue)
There you have it! I hope I was able to debunk some false truths surrounding fruit for you! What has your relationship with fruit been in the past. Leave a comment with any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!