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

berries 2These fruits are naturally lower in sugar. They also contain a good amount of fibre and are very high in anti-oxidants.

  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cranberries
  • Gooseberries
  • Loganberries
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Mulberry

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.

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Melon
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Banana
  • Lychees
  • Grapes
  • Orange
  • Nectarine
  • Persimmon
  • Etc.

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?

big bumFruit 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.

About Nicky Perks

Passionately sharing information about the paleo/primal, high fat/low carb lifestyle that will rock your world! I am on my own journey to good health and a slim body. My goal? To enjoy the ride as life on this beautiful planet is just too short to do it any other way.

Posted on November 1, 2013, in Primal 101 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Hi Nicky
    So I have been eating a low carb diet since November last year. And I have only lost 4kgs… Sadly my pocket is not lending myself to Sally-Ann Creed so I am learning thru reading and chatting to others on the same path. I love your blogs! The fact that I have only lost 4 kgs might be because I still eat some fruit like pineapple, apples, berries and bananas (in my green smoothies). I am going to take out fruit for a bit and see if it has an impact on my weight.
    Lots of healthy love

    • Hi Victoria, thanks for the positive feedback about my blog. It means so much to me that people are enjoying my writing and hopefully benefitting from the information I am sharing. I am sure it will help if you stick to just berries or cut out fruit all together for a while. Too many nuts can also be a problem for some as well as baked goods made from almond flour. Alcohol is a biggie too! Try cutting out milk and yoghurt as well as they can cause quite a strong insulin response for some. Keep at it and good luck.

    • Victoria,

      I can confirm what Nicky has said. My wife and I have been eating primal for almost a year now and have lost quite a bit of weight. We have experienced weight loss plateaus from dairy (we eat no diary except lots of butter and occasionally aged cheese) as well as fruit. We now stick to berries (Woolworths Summer Berries) and dark chocolate to curb the sweet tooth.

      • Thanks so much Nicky and Heinrich. I cut out fruit for two weeks and it did not make a difference so now I’m going to give dairy a go. I really appreciate the feedback. I will let you know if it makes a difference. 🙂

  2. In my case I eat fruit every lunch time virtually 6 times a week and my mix is Apples, strawberries, pineapple, avo, cucumber and tomatoes. It shows no effect.

    • Hi Norman, I am going to assume that you are you at your optimum weight then and that you are not on a weight loss plateau? My aim for this post was to help those people who are struggling to lose weight and who might benefit in that department by trying to reduce or cut out fruit to see if it helps to get the weight loss started. The information contained in this post definitely won’t apply to everyone. Avos, strawberries, cucumber and tomatoes are all good anyway.

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