We know that eating sugar isn’t ideal for our health and anyone who’s polished off a juicy mango or handful of grapes lately will attest that fruit can be mighty sweet.
So does that mean we should be limiting our intake if we want to put our healthiest foot forwards?
Fruit has been bundled in with sweet foods and blacklisted from many people’s diets, out of fear that it will cause erratic blood glucose spikes like lollies or cake would.
But dietitian and nutritionist Rebecca Gawthorne says the sugar in fruit is natural, not added, and therefore doesn’t have the negative impacts linked to added sugar.
“Research proves that fruit consumption aids weight loss, reduces your risk of chronic diseases and improves overall health and wellbeing,” Said Gawthorne.
“The natural sugars that are in fruit fuel our brain and muscles with energy and fruit contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre and phytochemicals that nourish us and will keep us healthy.”
Kara Landau, Travelling Dietitian, says it’s misguided to single out sugar in fruit because we should be looking at foods as a whole, not honing in on certain nutrients.
“Fruit, like any food, is not to be feared,” she says.
“Nutrients are not consumed in isolation in wholefoods and therefore the final verdict on whether a food is healthy needs to be looked at in a more holistic way.”
It’s the fibre in fruit that really separates it from other sweet foods. It helps slow down the digestion of the sugars, [plus] the water content, can reduce the overall glycemic load from the consumption of fruit,” Landau explains.
So unlike other sweet foods, fruit should fill you up and not cause as big a spike then crash in energy levels.
But that’s not to say you should subsist on fruit and fruit alone – the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend we stick to about two pieces of fruit per day.
A serving size of fruit is about 150g, or around 350kj. In everyday terms, that’s a medium apple, banana or orange; two small kiwi fruits, apricots or plums; and a cup of diced or canned fruit (with no added sugar).
But Landau says not everybody needs to follow the guidelines to a tee.
“Fruit intake levels to support optimal health will vary based on activity levels, energy needs, genetics and consumption – or lack of consumption – of carbohydrate-rich foods that make up a person’s total daily energy intake.”
When it comes to genetic differences, Landau says different bodies preferentially metabolise certain macronutrients (fat, carbohydrates and protein) so she recommends seeing an accredited practising dietitian if you’re unsure how much fruit you personally need.
Original article by 9Coach