When it comes to curbing a sugar habit or cutting down on carbs, eventually, most dieters land on the same question: “What about fruit?”
Fruit Isn’t a “Free Pass”
The most dangerous paleo mistake people make? Fruit is delicious, but it isn’t a “free pass” in your diet. A lot of people treat it that way though. They’re strict about ditching unhealthy processed foods. But they let themselves eat as much fruit as they want. Once someone decides to lose weight, sweets, sodas and processed foods are usually the first things to go…
But you still have to eat something. You have to replace some of those calories you eliminated from your diet.
Protein and healthy fats are ideal, but people struggle to get enough of them. So they end up snacking all the time, filling up on fruit to fight off hunger pains.
That’s when the problems start. A certain chemical in fruit can be Dangerous if you eat too much of it. Let’s talk about that now…
Fructose: What Makes Fruits Sweet (and Sometimes Dangerous) “Fructose” is a natural sugar found in fruit. It’s much better than high fructose corn syrup (the stuff found in processed foods). But fructose is still sugar. Eat too much, and you can get yourself into a world of trouble.
When you eat fruits, your body processes the fructose in them quickly. This spikes your blood sugar levels, and your body releases a hormone called insulin to get things under control. Do this repeatedly, and your body adapts by becoming RESISTANT to insulin! Things only go downhill from there. Insulin resistance has been linked to obesity—the last thing you want to hear if you’re trying to lose weight. It’s also been linked to diabetes, kidney disease, and even heart disease. So the dangers of eating too much fructose are real. But don’t swear off eating fruit just yet…
Fruits have plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to write home about. As long as you aren’t eating too many of them, they fall under the “healthy” foods camp. But not all fruits are created equal! Some are sweeter than others. They have a high fructose content and a high “Glycemic index” (which measures food’s impact on your blood sugar).
Save the following sugary fruits for special occasions:
Bananas, Grapes, Mangos, Melons, Papayas, Pineapples
You can enjoy the following fruits more often because they’re less sugary:
Apples, Apricots, Avocados, Berries, Citrus fruits, Cherries, Figs, Grapefruit, Peaches, Pears
And if you’re going to eat fruit, stick to whole fruit. Eating whole fruit gives you get plenty of fiber with the fructose, which helps your body process the fructose more slowly. This is easier on your blood sugar and keeps you feeling full. Fruit juices and smoothies taste delicious, but they’re super easy to overdo. Liquid calories don’t fill you up like whole foods do. You’re essentially drinking “fructose bombs”: entire batches of fruits thrown into a single glass.