Is fruit your friend or foe?
The warm summer season brings with it some of the most delicious fruit on this planet. Mangos, melons, pineapples, grapes and nectarines. How divine! Unfortunately, contrary to what we have been told, fruit is not such a great choice for everyone. Do you struggle to lose weight despite having cut out starches and junk food? The reason might be fruit.
Friend or foe?
While on my own weight loss journey, I have come to the realisation that fruit makes me fat. I am very sensitive to carbs (sugar) and very susceptible to blood glucose and insulin spikes. If I started snacking on fruit every day, I would seriously balloon at a rapid pace. Many of my previous attempts at losing weight were completely sabotaged by fruit. Fruit is literally “candy” from nature. Fruit is delicious because it is sweet! I now view fruit as a special treat. A treat I allow myself to have occasionally as dessert.
If you are trying to lose weight, then experiment with the type and amount of fruit you are eating. In other words, reduce the quantity and opt for fruits lower in carbs. Or try and cut fruit out completely and see if it helps. There is nothing in fruit that you can’t get from veggies, so don’t worry that you will be missing out on any vital nutrients. Just make sure that you eat your low carb veggies such as salads, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, courgettes, patty pans, green beans, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, peppers etc.
“Fruit was traditionally small and seasonal and used to fatten people and animals during summer for the winter ahead.”
Berries are the best choice
These fruits are naturally lower in sugar. They also contain a good amount of fibre and are very high in anti-oxidants.
Fruit to limit or avoid for weight loss
Other fruits are higher in sugar and really should be eaten in moderation (if at all) if trying to lose weight.
If your goal is to slim down, then you need to be aware of the carb grams in fruit, especially if you want to maintain ketosis. Most people enter a state of ketosis (fat-burning) when carbs are kept under 20 grams a day. Ketosis is next to impossible to achieve if you continue eating fruit.
For example, an apple has around 17 grams of carbs and a medium banana a whopping 27 grams. And a 100 grams of mango will set you back 15 grams.
Dried fruit is a big no-no as the sugar is even more concentrated. And of course fruit juice is all the sugar but without the fibre, so is best avoided completely.
What’s my take-home message?
Fruit IS healthy and is packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre. It is a way better snack than any processed junk available. I am NOT saying that everyone must cut out fruit. I am just sharing what I have learned from my personal experience as well as the books and articles I have read.
It is only when my nutritionist, Sally-Ann Creed, advised me to cut out fruit completely, that I was able to start losing weight again after being on a plateau for ages. Hopefully once I have lost all my weight I will be able to reintroduce small amounts of fruit again. Time will tell.
So remember, fruit is a good and healthy choice for some people but is not necessarily good for those of us who are not yet at our ideal healthy weight.
Next time you are pushing your trolley down the fresh produce aisle, ask yourself this question:
“Would there be less loot in my boot, if I reduced my fruit?”
Some experimentation of your own might help you decide whether fruit is your friend or foe.