Consuming fruits and vegetables during the three main meals is an important aspect of healthy eating. However, recent studies show that there may be some challenges to the fruit consumption aspect of this practice.
Such challenges stress that fruit consumption is unhealthy to some degree due to high glucose and fructose content. On the flip side, eating fruit is important to fight nutrition deficiency.
With these two different views to contemplate on, it is easy to find yourself asking, ‘Is fruit good or bad for you?’
The Bad — Sugar Content
There is some truth to the view that consumption of fruit is unhealthy. And the culprit behind that is the amount of sugar that fruits contain. It is widely known that sugar or too much of it is not healthy because it leads to lots of health issues. A high amount of sugar in the diet causes inflammation, which leads to obesity and other modern lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
In connection, fruits contain sugar in the form of fructose, which also plays a role in the development of Type 2 diabetes. Hence, the more fruits you eat, the more amount of sugar the body receives, which may cause visceral body fat to develop.
The Good — Fiber Content and Other Nutrients
However, there is another side to this issue, which is what Dr. David Ludwig, New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center’s director, emphasized. He stated that eating fruits, no matter how much you consume, is not associated with any adverse health effects.
Yes, there may be effects, but most of them are positive for the health, like the metabolic benefits that fruits’ healthful nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber content deliver.
The fiber content found in fruits also plays a vital role in reducing the risk for Type 2 diabetes, especially if the cell walls containing it remain intact. Keep in mind that sugars in fruits are contained in their cells, which the digestive tract finds hard to break down.
Due to that, they will need to enter the bloodstream, allowing the liver to have more time metabolizing them. The fact that the sugars are absorbed slowly prevents and minimizes a surge in one’s blood sugar, and in effect, reduces the risk for Type 2 diabetes.
That is just one of the advantages of eating fruits.
According to Dr. Robert Lustig, there is a third benefit to consuming these treats. Aside from promoting satiety and slowing down the release of sugar, the fiber in fruits helps healthy bacteria to thrive in the stomach by changing the body’s intestinal flora.
Fruit Juices Over Whole Fruits
Another way to answer the question ‘Is fruit good or bad for you?’ is through the consumption of fruit juices and whole fruits. Among these options, experts certainly encourage consumption of whole fruits while practicing caution in using fruit juices.
Experts highlight the fact that some vital changes occur while turning these fruits into liquid. As these changes happen, the metabolic benefit of the fruit’s fiber content also decreases.
Overall, the key determinant of whether eating fruits is good or not lies in their fiber content. Consuming whole fruits may be much better than taking their juice forms. However, you are still free to drink fruit juices if you prefer to do so as long as their vitamins, minerals, and fiber content are retained. One way of ensuring that is by tossing the entire fruit in a blender instead of squeezing them when juicing.
Eating fruits in moderation is also important here. By moderation, it means limiting your consumption to two servings a day. You can go and consume up to three servings, but ensure that there is a three-hour gap between each serving.
To make it easier, just ensure that veggies occupy the biggest portion of your plate during meals, and not fruits. Consuming a variety of fruits also helps since it maximizes their benefits, allowing the body to get different types of nutrients and antioxidants.