Brightly colored, naturally sweet and full of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants, fruit is considered nature’s candy and offers an array of health benefits. But as you may have heard, not all fruit may be best for everyone, and different types of fruit (along with how they are eaten) can determine the positive or negative effects that they have on your body.
“Always Eat Your Fruit”
These are words we hear often at Be Well, as it is advice that Dr. Lipman regularly shares with patients. With new juicing spots and promising cleanses popping up left and right, a lot of people turn to juices for their health benefits, but what people don’t often realize is just how much sugar is in some of these juices, and that the effect these sugars can have on the body isn’t always a good one.
When you juice a fruit or vegetable, you are removing all of the pulp and fiber that slow the digestion and absorption processes, which means if you are drinking a juice filled with fruit, your body is getting a large dose of sugar right into your bloodstream. This causes a spike in insulin, which we now know plays a role in energy crashes and weight gain (among other health concerns).
For these reasons, Dr. Lipman always recommends eating fruit whole, and if you want a juice, he recommends choosing one that contains only vegetable juice to avoid the intense sugar spikes and crashes.
Choose Low-sugar Fruit
Even when you are eating the whole fruit, remember that different fruits vary in sugar content. If you are eating fruit every morning, try to incorporate options that are lower in sugar, saving the higher sugar fruits to enjoy sparingly.
Low-sugar fruits include:
- Berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
- Green apples
- Stone fruits (peaches, plums)
- High-sugar fruits include:
- Dried fruits
Listen to Your Body
To determine the best types of fruit and the right amount for you, listen to your body! We all metabolize sugar differently, so if you are wondering if you are eating too much fruit or are curious about how these natural sugars may be affecting you, pay attention to the signs. If you are struggling with weight loss and have tried all of our other dietary recommendations but are still eating a good amount of fruit, try cutting back and see how you feel. If you experience dips in energy after enjoying a piece of fruit, you may be more sensitive to natural sugars and should experiment with limiting your fruit intake. If you are prone to yeast infections, are prediabetic, or are experiencing other health issues that are related to blood sugar, you probably want to be extra mindful of the fruits you are choosing and how often you are eating them.
Still not sure? Here are 6 Signs You’re Eating Too Much Sugar.
And remember, it’s not all about the fruit. If you are still eating foods containing gluten and/or sugar, packaged or processed foods, or other items that have an effect on your blood sugar, chances are that fruit is not the only problem. We do not want you to demonize fruit as it does offer an abundance of key nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are part of a healthy diet! As with most health foods, balance and variety are key, so enjoy the rainbow of fruits and listen to your body to decide what works best for you.
Are you curious about how we will be incorporating some of our favorite fruits this summer? Here are three simple and delicious recipes that we think you will love!
Berry Vanilla Protein Smoothie (Serves 1)
- 1 scoop Be Well Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp almond butter
- ½ cup frozen blueberries
- A few drops vanilla stevia
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Water and ice to blend
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Fruit Parfait (Serves 1)
- ½ cup sheep’s milk or coconut yogurt 1 Tbsp walnut halves
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- ½ cup mixed fresh berries
- Sprinkle of cinnamon
Place yogurt in a bowl. Top with walnuts, chia seeds, and berries. Finish with cinnamon. Enjoy!
Vicki’s Refreshing Watermelon and Arugula Salad (Serves 2)
- 4 big handfuls of arugula
- ½ medium-size watermelon, chopped into large pieces
- 2 scallions, thinly chopped
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 2 English cucumbers, chopped
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Juice from ½ a lime
- 1 clove minced garlic
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with dressing. Serve and enjoy!