Many want-to-be nutritionists tout free advice and recommend avoiding sugar like it’s the plague. The increase in sugar intake has led to an alarming spike in the obesity and diabetes epidemic worldwide. As such, there has also been an increase in low-carb dieters, many of whom restrict their intake of fruit because of its sugar content. Fruit does indeed contain natural sugars called fructose, but it also has incredible benefits that are often overlooked. Fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients and are a great source of fiber and water. Removing them from your diet could do more harm than good.
Dr. David Ludwig, the director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, claims no matter how much you eat, the sugar consumed in fruit is not linked to any adverse health effects. In fact, studies show that increased fruit consumption is tied to lower body weight and a lower risk of chronic diseases associated with obesity.
That being said, everything should be eaten in moderation. It probably isn’t wise to eat ten bananas every day or consume an entire watermelon in one sitting. The average person should consume two to three servings of fruit a day, more if you are highly active. Whole fruit is better than dried fruit and canned fruit, and fruit smoothies are better than fruit juices because they contain fiber. Try having fruit as a snack after lunch and dinner to combat any sugar cravings.
Written by: Amanda Pelletier, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern. Learn more about the Wellness Workdays Dietetic Internship.