Sunday, December 14, 2014

Why I don't recommend consuming an abundance of fruit!

When I ask my patients how their veggie intake is, I often get the response ''I don't get a lot of veggies in my diet but don't worry I eat a lot fruit''. The requirement for fruit in the diet is still a huge misconception! I realize that the food pyramid still puts vegetables and fruits together on the chart, but let's clear this all up right now.
Although fruit (can) be a part of a healthy diet for (active) individuals (particularly around workouts), fruit is full of an undesirable sugar called 'fructose''.

What is fructose? Fructose is a sugar found primarily in fruits and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) - a sweetener found in pop, candy and commercially prepared baked goods. Unlike glucose (which can be used as energy by the bodies cells in tissues such as the muscles, brain AND liver, fructose can ONLY be metabolized by the liver (because it requires an enzyme called fructokinase, which is only found in the liver, to turn it into glycogen, which can be used by the body as energy).
Fructose also does not cause insulin to be released, and therefore does not stimulate the release of the hormone LEPTIN (your satiety hormone which tells the body you've had 'enough') - leading to cravings and an overall increase in caloric intake! Not great for weight-loss! Fructose seems to be more 'lipogenic' than glucose (or ''fat-producing'') for these reasons - once the liver stores of glycogen are full (which doesn't take very long due to it's small capacity for storage), the rest turns into fat. For these reasons, there is concern for high intakes of dietary fructose (not only from processed sources, but also from FRUIT!).

My recommendation? Limit your fruit intake to one serving in your smoothie (one cup of berries or 1/2 banana) or if you are active, you can have a serving pre and post workout (because it will be used by the body as energy, not stored as fat).
I also recommend offering different snack choices to children - we often go to fruit because they like the sweetness and it gets them to eat, but we need to switch it up and offer them healthier choices like proteins and health fats (see my power balls recipe for a quick snack idea). I hope that clears up some of the misconception about fruit, and I hope that it gets you reaching for a different snack option during the day!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
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1 comment:

Laury Drury said...

You must be doing a good job with me then Anna because I have to work at getting even one serving of fruit.