Is Fruit Healthy Or “Fattening”?

Posted on 25-Jul-2016 by Kripa Jalan

Is Fruit Healthy Or “Fattening”?

“Eat your fruits and vegetables.” If I had a dime for every time I heard that. Apparently loading yourself full of them, will magically turn you from a burger to a beast. Basically, anything that’s grown out of the ground or fallen off a tree is natural. And natural means healthy, to most people. Then there are those who strongly believe that fruit contains sugar and sugar is white poison.

So what’s the deal with fruit? Is it good for you? Is it unhealthy? Is fruit juice fattening?

Let’s tackle these one at a time.

Nature’s super-foods, fruits are packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, you know the drill. That’s the good part. The not so good one, is where they contain a significant amount of sugar. The amount obviously varies from fruit to fruit.

So depending on which one we’re talking about it can contain sugar in the following forms:

  • Glucose
  • Sucrose
  • Fructose

These affect our blood glucose levels differently from conventional table sugar. It doesn’t enter the blood as quickly as conventional sugar, and consequently doesn’t cause rapid fluctuations. Additionally, the sugar in fruits is accompanied by fiber, which nullifies most of the negative effects. It slows down the absorption of the sugar into the bloodstream. Big win.

While moving from a calorie and sugar rich diet, to a  restricted calorie and sugar one, it may be easy to overdo fruit consumption. Since we’re so inclined to be developing a sugar addiction, surplus fruit consumption will only accelerate that. Instead of eating a chocolate bar, we’ll go for a fruit. That sounds great in theory. But we’re only sharpening the pleasure center in the brain that is triggered by sugar.

What about fruit juice and dried fruits in that case?

After all they are derived from the almighty fruit. Unfortunately that’s not true. In the case of most juices, they may as well be labeled sugar water. During the process of squeezing the fruit, we’re only extracting all the sugar, leaving behind the nutritious fiber. Take classic orange juice for example, one glass can contain anywhere between 21-40 g of sugar (that’s about 4-10 teaspoons). Moreover, have you ever noticed how many fruits go into making one glass of juice? Like I’ve said before moderation is the key.

Dried fruit is just a fruit, which has been dried. Got to be healthy? They contain the necessary micro-nutrients and are easily portable. The problem with them is, because they are so easily accessible we end up overeating. Which means more calories, quickly. Also little or no satiety. A tiny handful of raisins will contain about 30 g of sugar and a butt load of calories.

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