Who thought whether we should eat fruit could be a controversial topic? Fruit contains vitamins, minerals and fibre. It’s healthy...right? Well, yes. But, (and there’s always a but) fruit does contain sugar, of which too much can have certain implications.
A key to losing body fat is keeping insulin levels low. Insulin is released in response to blood sugar levels being elevated. Therefore, keeping blood sugar levels in check is extremely important for fat loss. This is where it gets tricky with fruit. Yes, it contains sugar. But, will it really impair fat loss? The unimaginative, but honest answer is “it depends”.
I always tell my clients to focus on getting their vitamins, minerals and fibre through non-starchy vegetables wherever possible. This limits sugar intake and helps keep blood sugar levels in check. The basis of any diet, in my opinion, should be non-starchy, colourful vegetables. But, fruit is by no means off the menu on a fat loss diet.
Trying to shift some weight? I would never recommend more than 2 servings of fruit a day. Also, if you are eating the fruit as a standalone snack, I would always recommend eating with a small handful of nuts. This will help blunt the blood-sugar spike. It will also help keep you more satisfied until your next meal. A small handful being 5-10 nuts (fewer if they are large).
As for what types of fruit to eat, here is my general rule of thumb: The darker the better. Next in the hierarchy are fruits where you eat the skin as well. Fruits, where you eat just the flesh, should be eaten rarely. Dried fruits should be eaten very infrequently, if at all. This is broken down below:
Dark – berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries etc), plums Skin – apples, pears, peaches, grapes
Fresh – banana, mango, melon, pineapple
Dried – raisins, sultanas, prunes, dates
This is obviously not an exhaustive list. It is only meant as a guide and is a very simple rule of thumb. Fruit should not be feared when it comes to weight loss. An apple is still better than a chocolate bar. But, as with all sugar products, quantities should be regulated.
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