We’re constantly getting hit with new health trends and diets that promise better results and greater health.
One that has stuck around for the past few years is the idea that we need to cut sugar, all sugar, out of our diets. It tells us that our bodies respond to all forms of sugar in the same way, no matter where they come from, and this sugar always results in weight gain and negative health implications.
If that’s the case, it means the majority of fruit and many of the vegetables we eat get sent to the chopping block. Honey and maple syrup are totally out, too.
This method is often promoted by those who follow the ketogenic diet (extremely low or no carb diet), and some people who follow a strict paleo protocol (nothing processed, lower carb, very low sugar diet).
But should you really be cutting out these natural forms of sugar like fruit and certain veggies? I get asked this quite often, and my answer is always the same: No! While sugar can contribute to weight gain, totally cutting out fruit is not worth the cost. What you need to cut out is processed, added sugar in the form of white sugar, sweetened yogurt, baked goods, candy, soda, juice, etc.
Raw fruit is incredibly healing, far beyond what I could explain to you in this post. From filling our vitamin requirements to improving digestion, providing antioxidants to fighting viruses, fresh fruit should never be underestimated or avoided. Not to mention how delicious a ripe, juicy strawberry is in the middle of summer! For drivers especially, fresh fruit can sometimes be tricky to find on the road, so if their able to have some, I want them to enjoy it.
If you’re looking to drop pounds, there are many other areas of your diet that you should be taking a look at instead. Portion size (eating too much and eating too little can be problematic), processed foods, foods you don’t tolerate well, and macronutrient balance (ex. too much carbs, not enough protein or healthy fat) are a few examples.
It’s true that cutting sugar and carbs out completely, including fruit, may help you drop weight faster as your body will be forced to breakdown fat and protein as its primary energy sources. However, that lifestyle may be difficult to maintain, and causes digestion, energy, and hormone issues in many people.
So, does that mean you can eat 20 bananas a day, on top of your regular diet, and still stay lean? Not quite. You still want to make sure you’re keeping your portion sizes in check, as you would with any other food. Don’t stress over your fruit intake, but aim for up to about 3 servings of fruit per day. If you have more than that, don’t stress! Additionally, if you’re diabetic, you must take that into account and consider your own blood sugar trends, medications, and insulin needs as the fruit will affect your blood sugar.
Appreciate what nature has to offer, especially during the summer months, and stay mindful of the rest of your diet. Now go find some local fruit and enjoy!