fitness health

Hidden sugars: Are you eating too much fruit?

Friday, September 05, 2014 Brittany Lohmann

Picture this: You’ve been on a new health track for two weeks now. You have been exercising regularly, staying away from fast food and sweets, and have kicked your mid-afternoon latte habit. But the pounds are still there and the wait for progress (and the actual weight) is starting to get to you.

As you sip your afternoon smoothie, you consider everything you have been eating lately, including that day: Greek yogurt with fresh fruit for breakfast? Check. An apple and salad for lunch? Check. A fruit smoothie for a snack?.. You stop mid-sip and stare down at your smoothie. Is it possible to eat too much fruit?

The answer, quite, simply is “yes”. It is possible to eat too much fruit. While fruit does provide our bodies with a number of different nutrients, there are several reasons to limit your fruit intake, including weight gain and vitamin/nutrient deficiencies.

If you are looking to lose weight, then it is important to stick to the recommended daily fruit serving. Fruits contain added sugars that can prevent you from losing pounds and even contribute to further weight gain. If weight loss is the primary goal, it is best to balance your fruit intake with veggies and avoid juice, smoothies, and dried fruit, which can contain even more sugar than their raw counterparts. In addition, doing so will provide you with a more balanced diet.

Although different there are a number of ways to name what constitutes as a “balanced meal”, it is generally agreed on that a well-rounded diet consists of lean meats, whole grains, fruits, veggies, and healthy fats. If you are overloading on fruit there is a possible chance that you may not be getting the nutrients that you need from other foods. A varied diet, including meats, vegetables, healthy fats, and grains, will provide you with the vitamins, minerals, and other substances that you need for a healthier lifestyle.

The Standard American Diet calls for 1½ to 2 servings of fruit per day. One of these servings counts as 1 whole fruit, 1 cup of diced fruit, or ½ cup of 100% fruit juice or dried fruit. Fruits that land lower on the Glycemic Index contain less sugar and are best to eat on a regular basis. Some of these fruits include apples, cherries, grapefruit, pears, oranges, and pears. Produce that falls within the middle of GI chart contain bananas, cantaloupe, mangoes, and while dates, canned fruit cocktail, and watermelon fall on the higher end. The mid-range and higher end fruits are suggested to be eaten in moderation.

While it will never be considered “bad” to choose an apple over potato chips, there is the possibility of too much of a good thing when it comes to eating fruit. However, by balancing your fruit with your vegetable intake and eating a variety of foods, including meat, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains, you can better manage your weight and your health.

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