Are You Eating Too Much Fruit?
Along with the low carb diet craze a few years ago came the idea that due to the sugar content fruit is bad. I love fruit, but when I plan my weekly menu I think twice about how much I eat. I also love to juice and despite knowing the nutritional value of the juices I hesitate to include them very often on my menu. Typically, I allow myself 1 piece of fruit a day. After all it’s loaded with carbs and sugar right? Is that smart/healthy menu planning?
What do you think? Is fruit bad for you?
Before taking fruit off your menu consider the difference between natural sugars and the added sugars found in everything from cookies to ketchup. There’s a big difference between the nutritional value of fresh fruits. and what’s found (or, more accurately, what’s not found) in all the empty calories we eat from added sugars that find their way into everything from brownies to barbecue sauce. Fruit contains so much more than sugar- including water, vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients (naturally-occurring plant compounds that have wide ranging beneficial effects on the body).
How much sugar are we talking about? An average orange has only about 12 grams of natural sugar (about 3 teaspoons) and a cup of strawberries has only about 7 grams – that’s less than two teaspoons. And either way, you’re also getting 3 grams of fiber, about a full day’s worth of vitamin C, healthy antioxidants and some folic acid and potassium to boot – and it’ll only cost you about 50 or 60 calories.
By contrast, a 20-ounce cola will set you back about 225 calories and, needless to say, won’t be supplying any antioxidants, vitamins, minerals or fiber. You’re getting carbonated water, probably some artificial color and flavor, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 grams of added sugar – about 1/3 of a cup. If the nutritional value of fresh fruit isn’t enough to convince you, consider the disease and illness fighting properties. If you eat fruit regularly you reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and possibly even vision loss.
On the Menu
Roasted Beets on Greens
Tempeh Mushroom Stir-Fry with Soba Noodles
E2 Basic Open Faced Sandwich with Edamame Hummus
Roasted Portobellos with Kale
Apples with Almond Butter
Do you limit the amount of fruit you eat because of the sugar and carb content? Have you tried a fad diet that created a mindset that’s hard to break?