5 Reasons Not to be Afraid of Fruit
In five years of practice I have heard countless times, “I know I shouldn’t be eating fruit because there is sugar in it”. While that statement is true it does NOT mean fruit is either unhealthy or bad for you! Fruit is INTEGRAL to a healthy, balanced diet when consumed in appropriate amounts and ideally combined with protein.
Here are 5 reasons you shouldn’t be afraid of fruit:
- Fruit can be an easy, healthy snack - We know that snacking is good for us as it helps control our hunger (leading to decreased food intake at the following meal) and keeps our metabolism moving. Many patients ask for healthy snack options that they can grab on the way out the door. What is easier than grabbing a banana, apple or handful of grapes?! Ideally you also would grab a string cheese or handful of nuts (the 100 calorie packs of nuts are handy to keep around!) to go with the fruit as protein is always the #1 priority.
- They are packed with vitamins and minerals - Vitamins and minerals are vital for our overall health and they also promote metabolism. Some vitamins and minerals in fruit have even been found to protect against certain cancers.
- Fresh fruits are high in fiber - Foods high in fiber fill you up (compared to foods without fiber) and are good for digestion. Some refer to fiber as a natural colon-cleanser. It takes a lot of energy to push fiber through the colon and when our body is requiring more energy, our metabolism increases, which in turn means you are burning more calories!
- We all need carbs so we might as well get them from fruit - The average human brain needs 120g of glucose daily to function properly. Glucose is derived from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates come from foods like grains (bread, rice, pasta, etc.) starchy vegetables (potatoes, beans, peas and corn), fruit, yogurt, milk and sweets/desserts. Raw fruit, as well as raw starchy vegetables are the preferred source of carbohydrates as they are in their natural state (no processing is done to produce them). Our body does best when eating as few processed foods as possible.
- Fruit is a good substitute for dessert - We all have cravings for a sweet every once in a while - and what fun would life be if we couldn’t ever indulge in this craving?! So … Wouldn’t it be better to reach for some berries or grapes or another kind of fruit? YES! You could mix some blueberries in yogurt or dab ¼ cup of Light Cool Whip over some strawberries. Mmmmmmm.
Liz Wray, RD, Bryan Bariatric Advantage