You know what I’m loving lately? Melon! I’m normally more of an apple or berry fan when it comes to fruit, but lately they have been super sweet. If you’re in Mumbai, tis the season to stock up on melon!
You know what I’m not loving? The “Damned if you do & damned if you don’t” motto that surrounds fruit. For years, fruit has been outlined as the epitome of good health. With the recent upsurge of low carb diets like Atkins & Paleo, fruit has suddenly been vilified as “unhealthy” because of its sugar content. Before I get into it, I am going to preface this post by saying that I don’t think sugar is the absolute devil…at all. Whether it’s in the form of an apple or a piece of cake, our bodies need sugar to function properly. The same goes for sodium: too much is not favourable yet our body NEEDS small amounts to carry out its metabolic processes. Some foods nourish us physically whereas others nourish us mentally. Personally small amounts of sugar daily keep me sane and happy.
That being said, I do try and keep a check on my intake especially as sugar consumption fuels further sugar cravings. However, it’s one thing laying off the Oreos but fruit…REALLY??? Even diabetics, or anyone watching their sugar levels, don’t need to entirely stay away from fruit. If you’re worried about fruit spiking your sugar levels, you can easily minimize the effect by pairing it with protein (e.g. yogurt) or healthy fats (e.g. nuts). Sugar aside, it’s important to remember that with all that natural sugar a piece of fruit contains, it also provides water, vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients (those naturally-occurring plant compounds that have wide-ranging beneficial effects on the body)…not too shabby for about 80 calories per serving!
Health aside, I want to quickly touch on the idea that “too much” fruit will make you (generic “you”) fat. Ultimately weight gain comes down to consuming more calories than you are expending. Whether it’s in the form of fruit, quinoa, or chocolate, eating a huge amount of calories from anything will cause weight gain. However at the same time, fruit’s fiber content will also keep you fuller for longer and help curb your appetite for a minimal amount of calories. The only time I would consider fruit as “unhealthy” or as being “too much” is when it replaces other vital nutrients in a diet…e.g. regularly foregoing a substantial lunch in favor of a fruit smoothie or juice.
Fruit is natural. Fruit has prevailed for centuries as a nutritious food. Fruit is a gold mine of antioxidants. Fruit is the foundation of a healthy diet. If you want to boost the nutrition of your diet, nixing fruit is only leading you in the opposite direction. And hey, if eating an extra banana or apple is your biggest dietary concern, I’d say you’re doing okay ;).
What’s your take on fruit? Foe or friend?
What’s your favorite fruit?