You’ve probably heard of claims against eating fruits before.
“Fruit? It makes you fat.”
“It contains loads of fructose, a type of sugar, so it’s bad for you. ”
But what’s confusing is that, there’s also people who say that eating fruit is healthy.
"Eat fruits because you get vitamins and fibre," they say.
You’re probably looking for an answer to this question: is fruit good or bad?
In this article, we’ll look through both sides to reach a conclusion.
First, I’ll introduce two characters that are important in this argument to simple things. For those who are allergic to complicated names of nutrients, try thinking of them as people.
Both are members of the sugar family formed when carbohydrates are broken down in your digestive system.
The human body preferentially uses glucose (e.g. honey, rice) as its main source of energy. Both muscles and brain use glucose, too.
The brain can ONLY use glucose, though.
We humans store glucose in our blood, organs, and muscles because we need them to move around whenever we need. It helps the most when you need to run at top speed, like when you’re running away from thieves or when you’re late to work. Or maybe even you’re between life and death fleeing from tigers coming after you. (Who knows, it might happen!)
This, you can all do because your muscles and blood are already equipped with an energy source.
When glucose enters the body, blood glucose levels rise (i.e., more sugar in the bloodstream), and when it is used or sent to other parts of the body, blood glucose levels drop (i.e., less sugar in the bloodstream).
Now you’ll understand that glucose is not Satan, but instead a type of energy that is necessary for human life. If blood glucose level suddenly drops, you can even faint. Your brain would literally shut down because your body doesn’t have enough sugar to move around.
On the other hand, fructose (contained in fruit and etc) is absorbed into the liver before entering the bloodstream, so it doesn’t raise blood glucose levels. It is converted to fat in the liver. Fat is also an essential nutrient for the body, but it is said to cause dyslipidemia and other disorders if there’s too much consumption.
“Avoid eating fruit!” vs “Eat a lot!”
If you look closely, there’s reasons why people suggest “avoid eating fruit”.
People claiming to “Avoid eating fruit” are often pointing out that fructose converts to fat in the liver and therefore is "bad for your health”. So they’re talking about fructose only, not fruit in general.
There’s also a lot of bodybuilders who say to “avoid eating fruit” too. It’s because they have to strictly limit the amount of sugar they consume to maintain their weight and muscles. Unless you’re a bodybuilder with a strict diet, you shouldn’t need to worry about this.
Unfortunately there’s also arguments that are just simple nonsense.
An argument that is often made by those who support sugar restriction, is that "even fructose is a sugar" and therefore “bad for you”. The truth is that glucose and fructose are completely different things with different purposes, so lumping them together as "sugar" is just simply not true.
How about the “eat a lot” of fruit claims?
There’s also reasons why some people claim so.
It’s because fruits provide vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, water, and other nutrients that are often lacking in usual diets.
Fruits are rather expensive compared to fast food. But it’s still better than drinking a lot of types of supplements. Some fruits such as berries have been shown to suppress the rise in blood sugar levels. The benefits of eating fruits outweigh the disadvantages.
Juice should be avoided, not fruit.
A common misconception among those who claim “avoid eating fruit" is that they treat fruit and fruit juice as the same thing. Unfortunately they’re not the same.
Many fruit juices contain "high-fructose corn syrop" (a liquid mixture of fructose and glucose). This is a natural sweetener, also described as high fructose corn syrup, and is often found in yoghourt and juice.
This, is what makes blood sugar explode.It has been noted as a cause of obesity and diabetes.
Have you ever wondered why fruit juice is cheaper than buying fruit in the first place?
Squeezing one orange won’t fill even half a cup, even if you do it tightly. If you want to make a full glass of orange juice, you’ll need four to five oranges.
Try remembering your girl scout days making lemonade. Having to prepare a lot of fruits isn’t too bad, the worst is that it’s just so time and energy consuming. And yet, it is cheaper than buying fresh fruit.
Why does this happen? It is because the amount of fruit juice is reduced and a cheaper syrup (fructose dextrose) is added. Production costs are reduced, the sweetness is increased, consumers are happy. What more can companies ask for?
So many health-conscious people don’t even realise and continue drinking juice to replace fruit. But they’re two different things.
◆Fruits are not bad for you
Let’s wrap up. We’ve looked at both ideas on fruit.
Considering both, I guide people on the stance that fruits should be taken positively. If fruits were really bad for you, don't you think the human race would have died out long ago? Fruits have been in this world for hundreds or thousands of years longer than the "healthy foods" that surround us today, and humans have been eating fruits throughout our evolution.
Also note that it is only in the last few decades that obesity has begun to become a problem.
There are other causes of the obesity spreadings that people face today besides fruits. Before considering whether fruit should be avoided, it is more important to improve other fundamentals.
Reduce the amount of time you spend sitting in a chair.
Sleep 8 hours a day.
Reduce processed foods.
Switch from drinking juice to eating fruits.
Eat on a balanced diet.
Improve your lifestyle
Basics before trends.
And that's a takeaway message for you from me! (as I write this article while biting into a banana and a kiwifruit!)
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