Fruit and Fitness: What’s the Deal?

We all want to know: Is fruit good for me? How much fruit should I eat? Will fruit make me fat? It’s full of sugar so should I stay away from it? What about smoothies? And fruit juice? And fruit roll-ups? And FRUIT BY THE FOOT??????

Fruit By The Foot

*stands* “My name is Kaili, and I’m a fruit-aholic.”

First things first: I am not a registered dietitian. Those people are way smarter than me and paid lots of money to learn lots and lots about food, diets, the body, and how it all interacts — I didn’t. Secondly: Everyone is different. Do what works for you.

Let’s get some facts out of the way first:

  • Fruit is not inherently bad for you.
  • Fruit can 100% be part of a healthy diet.
  • Fruit (like any other food), will not make you fat when eaten in moderation.
  • Fruit is dense in sugar: fructose, glucose, and sucrose (fructose + glucose).
  • Fruit is also pretty dense in fiber — which means your body digests the sugar at a slower rate — meaning your blood sugar isn’t effected in the same way it would be if you were just gulping spoonfuls of table sugar.
  • It’s also LOADED with vitamins and minerals and has been shown to protect against diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes — WIN.
  • The really smart people at the USDA recommend eating 2 cups of fruit per day.
  • Most fruit juices have added sugars and preservatives without the fiber — meaning you’re drinking sugar water — meaning you should probably limit your intake.
  • Fruit By The Foot isn’t fruit… unfortunately.

“That’s all fine and dandy,” you say. “So should I eat it or not?”

That depends. If you’re a relatively active person who doesn’t struggle with sugar-cravings and overeating sweets, by all means — snack away. If you’re on your way to the gym and need some fuel — please, eat a banana. If your diet is balanced and you’d like a couple pieces of fruit a day — you go girl!

However, make sure the majority of your calories and nutrients aren’t coming from fruit alone. This is a sure way to miss out on lots of good stuff your body needs. Also, shake up the types of fruit you’re eating — variety is key. Pair fruit (a carbohydrate) with protein and fats such as almond butter, a handful of nuts, or scrambled eggs. And don’t sleep on veggies, they’re loaded with key nutrients as well.

The takeaway: If you’ve been eating fruit and loving the way your body performs and feels — there’s no reason to stop. Plus, the majority of Americans aren’t eating enough fruit daily (according to a couple of studies), so odds are you aren’t overdoing it. But if you’re eating 10’s of servings of fruit per day with a side of fruit and a cup of fruit juice and Fruit By The Foot for dessert… you might want to think about slowing down.

Positive vibes my fruit-heads,

Kaili

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