Before I begin this post I would like to say that the average Canadian eats WAY more fruit than they should. Fruits are NOT equal to vegetables, not by a long hall. I personally only eat 1 cup of fruit a day, whereas I eat 4 cups (sometimes more) of vegetables.
Why should we be limiting our fruit intake?
Firstly, for those of you who are not aware.. fruits are carbohydrates. So when you are saying you are on a ‘low carb’ diet and you continue to eat a lot of fruit, I am sorry to inform you but you are really not on a low carb diet. Fruits are primarily made up of the sugar fructose.
Fructose can only be broken down in our livers, and even then it does not enter glycolysis.
Glycolysis is the process of breaking down complex and simple sugars into glucose for our bodies and brains to use as an energy source. Fructose, however, does not get converted into glucose, it gets converted into glycogen. Glycogen is the energy storage molecule that stays in our adipose tissue (fat tissue) until we are low in glucose. Therefore, fructose is kind of like our back up plan. If we are fasting, or we have not eaten for a while and our energy levels are low, our bodies can then go into their glycogen reserves and undergo glycolysis to give us an energy boost. But, if you are eating on a regular basis, that reserve that was created by the fruits you ate will stay in your fat tissue.
So what is the difference between candy and fruit?
Honestly, not a whole lot. Most candy and synthetic sugars are made up of high-fructose corn syrup. Therefore, like fruits, they have a high fructose concentration. The primary difference between eating a handful of Skittles, versus a handful of strawberries is that strawberries at least have some other beneficial nutrients to them. Many fruits contain vitamin C, fibre, potassium, and folate. All nutrients that are good for our bodies.
I am in no way saying that we should cut fruits out completely. Having a storage of glycogen is very important for our bodies to thrive. This storage allows us to continue to function even if we are hungry, and it is there just in case we are in a situation where we have to fast. I am, however, saying that when nutritionists say to lower your sugar intake, they should also be saying to lower your fruit intake. Everybody’s bodies are different, and some bodies need more glycogen than others, but I personally believe that 1 cup of fruit is plenty for my body.
I encourage you to take a look at your sugar intake, and if you are trying to lose weight OR if you are trying to lose inches, I would highly suggest cutting out some of your daily fruit portions.
Let me know your feelings. I always want to learn more about how I can treat my body like the temple it is, and my diet is the most important thing to do that.