Fruit Fruit, oh beautiful fruit! the more you eat the more you want. Fruit is as we’ve all heard it, nature’s candy. It’s addictive at times. You eat one piece of watermelon and before you know it you’ve eaten more than half of the entire watermelon, please tell me i’m not the only one. This is an interesting topic of discussion and debate for some people but i’m open to hearing all perspectives so if you see a perspective different than mine in this article please leave your comments and share your thoughts.
The American Heart Association recommends nothing more than 27 added grams of sugar per day per women and 37 grams for men. Added meaning additional beyond their dietary recommendations probably resembling something very similar to the old and broken food pyramid model. But taking this into account and even considering it conservatively legitimate that means that about one apple per day (extra) for women and 1.5 apples per men extra is considered okay, anything beyond that could negatively impact heart health.
Like I mentioned, this is any extra sugar beyond their base sugar intake, which is based off the fruit intake and small portion of sweets listed in the old-school (outdated and scientifically inaccurate for ideal health) food pyramid. Long story short the conception of food pyramid dietary guidelines were funded by large meat, dairy and big agricultural companies. This should let you know that your best interest may not be at best here when their best financial interest is also on the line.
But considering this and taking it into effect, you realize that 1 or 1.5 apple’s worth of extra sugar beyond a mostly healthy whole food diet is quite extreme. Fruit is a gift to be consumed as nature’s candy, in healthy doses.
The reason we eat food is for energy and repairing and rebuilding our body. Fruit provides the fastest source of energy (from any whole foods) and is the most attractive and appealing as far as taste (fructose) and the positive brain chemistry effects that occur. It’s delicious, it truly is natures candy. What is the point of processed candy when there is fruit? it really makes no sense. We do receive benefits from the phytonutrients, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins of course.
Let’s backup though a minute, sure fruit is healthy and sure its got nutritional value! There’s no doubt about that. The big question to ask though is…
How Much Fruit Should I Eat?
Based on the research that i’ve done I would say that around 2 servings of fruit on a daily basis is great for just about anyone. Whether it’s an apple and a mango, or a banana and a handful of blueberries. Two servings seems to give you two nice quick boosts of energy but not rely on your Pancreas and fructose sugar as your sole source of energy.
Protein, other carbohydrates and fats are great sources of energy as well and they will help you use your Liver as an organ to help produce energy more, instead of solely relying on the Pancreas for insulin all day everyday.
When It comes to fruit you should view it as it is, natures candy. Candy shouldn’t be a staple part of your diet, or anyone’s diet. Fruit can and should be consumed but some people (fruitarians) have fruit being 80% of their diet. Think about that for a minute, 80% of your body energy is running off solely off fruit which is only one macronutrient.
To reiterate, protein, fats and carbohyrates are all macronutrients that are sources of energy (calories) and to rely on each of them (in one way or another, at different times) is a smarter way to have a more harmonious energetic flow in your body. To depend on different whole food macronutrient calorie sources that still contain your essential mineral and vitamin micronutrients.
One thing you’ll notice with people who eat healthy but mainly live off fruit, very little vegetables and other whole foods is that they need to eat a LOT of fruit, I’m talking quantities of fruit that will make your head spin (if you’ve ever hung out with fruitarians, which are people who live solely off fruit. The quantities of fruits needed to sustain is so high because the fruit sugar (fructose) in fruit boosts energy levels quickly and your body burns that quickly, so you need more fruit to get another boost of energy.
Other great sources of energy beyond fruit are healthy proteins and fats. Chia seeds are great because they contain both protein and fats and act as slow burning fuel in your body. Proteins and fats are great because they are slow burning sources of energy, you need both slow and fast burning sources of fuel to keep your energy levels high and healthy throughout the day. On the contrary too much good organic whole food sources of protein and fats will have you feeling sluggish because your liver will be working hard, taking away energy for you and your body and rerouting it to digest the more slowly digested fats and proteins. I also recommend more protein in general in the form of nuts, seeds and vegetables simply because protein will help to balance blood sugar levels if they get low. Sometimes fructose can become like caffeine to fruitarians (or people eating more fruit than any other healthy whole food) which means that your blood sugar levels are dependent solely on fruit.
It all comes down to having harmony in what you eat. Eating a good sized hefty amount of organic vegetables daily, some fruit, nuts, seeds and organic animal products if you choose provides a good range of energy and support for each digestive organ and the system as a whole.
I hope this helps answer questions you may have about fruit!
P.S. Some people say that fruit sugar is the same as regular sugar in that it has the same effects on the body. This is not 100% true because fruit is paired with fiber typically which does help slow the absorption of sugar to some degree. This is good because if you drank all of your fruit in the form of fruit juice everyday and never had the fruit pulp and fiber with it your Pancreas would be potentially stressed and overworked. This is why I don’t recommend gulping down fruit juice or other sugary drinks such as soda, or energy drinks because these are really the worst possible forms of sugar for you.
I also find it interesting that Steve Jobs died of Pancreatic cancer and he was a fruitarian for many years of his life, starting in his twenties. It’s quit possible that he may have weakened his Pancreas by depending on it and stressing it out so much for those years that later on his Pancreas was more susceptible to developing cancer. Someone also told me that he drank a lot of fruit juice as well during that time, that would be even worse because there’s no fiber to help slow the absorption of the fructose.