We all know how healthy fruit is – packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre. But its important to make sure your fruit intake is a balanced part of your nutrition, not elbowing other important components out of the way. And the way you eat that fruit is important too. Here’s why:
Fruit is full of natural sugars. Sometimes it can be surprising just how much sugar you’re getting! Ideally, restrict your total sugar intake for the day to 10% of your calories, or 25g.Here is the sugar content of common fruits:
Banana: 13g sugar in one medium banana
Apple: 14g sugar in one medium apple
Strawberries: 7g sugar in one cup of strawberries
Oranges: 21g sugar in one medium orange
Grapes: 19g sugar in 22 green grapes
You can see how just two pieces of fruit is enough, even without sugar that you get from other sources during your day.
Be especially rigorous with monitoring your fruit intake if you tend to suffer from thrush, candida infections, or skin fungal infections (fungal infections just love to feed on sugar!)
Fruit is full of fibre, especially soluble fibre, which will help keep your bowels healthy and lower your cholesterol – but if you juice the fruit you’ll miss out. Fruit juice is actually a very sugary drink, without the fibre to slow down the sugar absorption. So wherever possible, choose to eat a piece of whole raw fruit rather than juicing it.
Eat fruit in season. We are truly blessed with the massive range of fresh fruit available to us, and it changes all year round. Even better, the fruit that’s in season will be cheaper. So don’t feel compelled to stick to the same fruit selection week in week out!
When eaten as a snack, add in some protein food like low fat yoghurt or raw nuts. The protein will help slow the absorption of the sugar in the fruit, giving you a steadier blood sugar level.
Dried fruit is really concentrated, making it too easy to eat a lot. So always eat dried fruit with other food to avoid a blood sugar ‘spike’.
Use your fruit before your fitness training for a carbohydrate boost. Especially important if you do your training before breakfast. After an hour’s training you will need another fruit boost.