How Much Fruit Is Too Much? A Nutritionist Explains
Okay I know what you’re thinking – of course fruit is good for you. It’s only like the healthiest thing you could eat ever, right? While it’s true that fruit is packed with a whole bunch of nutrients that your body loves, hearing what a nutritionist has to say about fruit is actually very interesting.
In a recent interview with Self, Atlanta-based nutritionist Marisa Moore talked extensively on the topic of fruit and how good it actually is for our body. “This is a little bit complicated, because I don’t ever want to send a message that fruit is not a good choice,” Moore told Self.
On the upside, fruit is generally rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium and fibre and with many people not getting enough of these vital nutrients, fruit has a lot of benefits. However the problem comes when people assume that fruit is so healthy that it is okay to eat as much of it as you want.
Contrary to popular belief, fruit is not a ‘free’ calorie food. In many diets such as Weight Watchers, fruit is thought to be ‘free’ calories and because of this, dieters are assured that they are able to eat as much fruit as they like and this will not impact upon their diet. However in reality this is not true.
Fruit contains natural sugar that is of course much better than refined sugar that you find in processed foods, however Moore explained that it still pays to pay close attention to how much fruit you are actually eating, as too much fruit can lead to fatigue, blood sugar spikes and even weight gain.
Moore also noted that smoothies can often be guilty of leading us to consume far more fruit than we should, with many smoothies containing extremely high levels of natural sugar and hundreds of calories. “Smoothies can absolutely be a healthy part of a diet, but I always encourage people to add in protein so the smoothie has more staying power, and to add vegetables to balance out the fruit,” Moore said. “That way you’re not getting so much sugar, especially in one meal.”
Overall, Moore suggested that having a couple of pieces of fruit every day will generally be good for you, however if you often find yourself having more than this, it could pay to start looking at how much fruit you are eating and perhaps substituting some of your fruit servings for other healthy, lower sugar snacks.