I realize it’s the middle of summer and just about every fruit worth eating is in season. Peaches are perfectly ripe and berries are bursting with flavor.
When I hear what people eat, I often hear how much fruit people eat and personally it scares me. Yes, fruit is a better alternative to a candy bar or ice cream, but if you are trying to lower blood sugars or trying to lose weight or even just trying to be healthier, you need to put a limit on how much fruit you eat.
A very wise person told me fruits are cleansers and vegetables are healers, so please eat twice as many vegetables as you do fruits. Also, since fruits are cleansers and go through the body quickly, it is best not to eat it when you are eating grains and/or proteins. It turns out it alters the pH and enzyme environment of the stomach, making digesting a large amount of protein and grains quite difficult. For those with fructose malabsorption or sensitivity, that digestive upset can be quite uncomfortable! That may explain why most of my clients do best having fruit as a snack instead.
“The most important carbohydrates that routinely cause clinical abdominal complaints are lactose, fructose, and the sugar alcohol sorbitol. Lactose has long been recognized as one of the most important nutrients, and fructose and sorbitol have become increasingly important following recommendations to increase fruit and vegetable consumption” – World J Gastroenterol. 2007.
Here Are 4 Signs You’re Eating Too Much Fruit
1. You’re Frequently Bloated
Fruit is a classic trigger for bloating and here’s why. Fruit is rich in a type of sugar called fructose. Unfortunately, many of us are not well equipped to digest and absorb large amounts of fructose. Researchers believe up to 40% of people suffer from a condition called fructose malabsorption in which fructose is inefficiently absorbed across the small intestine. So instead of nourishing us, sometimes fruit sits in the gut and ferments with the help of bacteria. And the result of those bacteria feasting on fructose is a lot of gas and bloating that makes us feel pretty bad.
2. You Have Diarrhea or Constipation
Along with the fructose absorption issues I described above, which does commonly lead to diarrhea, let me explain another possibility for why fruit messes up your digestion. Fruits are designed by nature to carry seeds and make a new plant, so when you think about it, it’s in their best interest to not be fully digested by humans. The plant is hoping that some of its seeds will survive transit and get, shall I say, “deposited” in a new location to grow a new fruit tree/plant.
3. You Can’t Lose Weight
You’ve already switched to a real food diet, you’ve cut out soda, candy, processed foods, etc… but there’s one problem: you’re still not losing weight. If you’re still battling the scale after adopting healthier habits, you might consider looking at your fruit intake.
I agree that fruit is a healthier alternative to many desserts and junk foods, but if fruit is a staple item at every meal and snack, you may simply be eating too many carbohydrates to allow your body to lose weight. In brief, any time we eat carbohydrates our blood sugar goes up. That triggers our body to release insulin to lower the blood sugar. How does it do that? By converting it to fat for storage!
4. You Always Crave Sugar
Not only does eating fruit spike your blood sugar, as explained above, it also doesn’t sustain it for very long. If you have fruit by itself as a snack, you might notice that you’re satisfied for 30 minutes or so, but soon after your tummy starts growling. That’s because fruit doesn’t come packaged with much protein or fat to keep us sated. Yes, it has fiber, which helps a bit, but it’s not enough to prevent a crash in blood sugar after eating fruit.
What’s a reasonable amount of fruit to eat in a day?
In general – and unless you’re following a very low carbohydrate diet – I suggest 2-3 portions (1/2 cup=1 portion of fruit daily, preferably in its fresh and whole form. If you really want bonus points, make one (or both) of those portions berries.
If you are very physically active, at a healthy weight, and/or thrive on a higher carbohydrate diet, by all means, eat more!
Adapted from pilatesnutritionist.com
Leave A Comment