The Problems With Too Much Fruit
Trying to lose weight so you’re probably watching out for ice cream, pizza, and cake but, the cause of your weight-loss struggles might be as simple as too much fruit!
You ditch unhealthy processed foods but eat as much fruit as you want, like it’s a free pass.
Fruit is delicious, but it isn’t a “free pass” in your diet.
Protein and healthy fats, (a balance of omega 3, 6 & 9) are ideal, but people struggle to get enough of them. So they end up snacking all the time, filling up on fruit to fight off hunger pains.
That’s when the problems start. A certain chemical in fruit can be dangerous if you eat too much of it.
“Fructose” is a natural sugar found in fruit.
It’s much better than high fructose corn syrup (the stuff found in processed foods). But fructose is still sugar. Eat too much, and you can get yourself into a world of trouble.
When you eat fruits, your body processes the fructose in them quickly. This spikes your blood sugar levels, and your body releases a hormone called insulin to get things under control.
Do this repeatedly, and your body adapts by becoming resistant to insulin!
Things only go downhill from there. Insulin resistance has been linked to obesity—the last thing you want to hear if you’re trying to lose weight. It’s also been linked to diabetes, kidney disease, and even heart disease.
So the dangers of eating too much fructose are real. But don’t swear off eating fruit just yet.
Fruits have plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as long as you aren’t eating too many of them, they fall under the “healthy” foods camp.
But not all fruits are created equal!
Some are sweeter than others. They have a high fructose content and a high “Glycemic index” (which measures food’s impact on your blood sugar).
Save the following sugary fruits for special occasions:
You can enjoy the following fruits more often because they’re less sugary:
- Avocados (yes it is a fruit)
- Citrus fruits
Stick to whole fruit.
Eating whole fruit gives you get plenty of fiber with the fructose, which helps your body process the fructose more slowly. This is easier on your blood sugar and keeps you feeling full.
Fruit juices and smoothies taste delicious, but they’re super easy to overdo. Liquid calories don’t fill you up like whole foods do. You’re essentially drinking “fructose bombs”: entire batches of fruits thrown into a single glass.
How Much Fruit Can I Eat and Still Lose Weight?
Fruits have plenty of nutrients that make them healthy. But they also contain fructose, which can be lead to weight gain if you eat too much of it.
So how much is “too much?”
It depends on how active you are.
If you spend most of your time in an office and only exercise a little, you’ll probably see faster weight loss by limiting your fruit servings to 1-3 of the less sugary fruits a day.
Athletes and physically active people can get away with eating more fruit: 4-5 servings a day is a good guideline. Still, make it the less sugary fruits. Physical activity helps you do well with more carbs (from fruits and starchy vegetables) in your diet.
Of course you can always stop eating fruit until you reach your target weight. Then you can gradually reintroduce it into your diet. Until then, you can get all of the nutrients you need from vegetables.
No matter how much fruit you eat, don’t let it replace animal or vegetable proteins and other vegetables as the pillars of your diet.