Fruits are generally liked and used by all as “health food”. There is hardly anyone who does not like fruits.
It is nature’s gift to human beings and animals. So many verities and tastes…. Every season of the year has fruits particular to them.
Fortunately, with the help of modern preservation and storage techniques, we can get numerous verities of fruits from all over the world throughout the year in our nearest hypermarket stores.
Fruitarians believe that fruit alone is sufficient for good health.
But then there are a number of studies and medical guidelines that suggest that a lot of fruits can be bad for health.
It is really worthwhile for us to have a close look at what should be the right approach we should have for fruits in our daily diet.
The Benefits Of Fruits
There is no doubt that fruits are far better than having any of the processed and junk foods.
They have several health benefits as they can provide us with essential vitamins and nutrients. No cholesterol at all…. They reduce the risk of heart diseases and stroke.
Below given are some of the outstanding health benefits of fruits you can expect.
Fruits Help In Weight Loss
There is a lot of furor among the health experts on fructose and carbohydrate content in fruits. It is quite true that fructose and carbohydrate could promote weight gain.
Does it mean that fruits could be bad for weight loss?
Fruits make us feel full and satiated quickly than any other food.
As per the satiety index on different type foods, oranges and apples rank very high, even above meats and eggs. One or two apples and oranges are enough to make you feel full and to vanish your hunger instantly.
Some fruits like apple, peaches, berries, etc. have a good bit of chewing resistance that helps us in faster satiation and slower fructose absorption.()
Basically, it means that fruits are good appetite suppressants. At the same time, they also provide the required amount of calories and nutrients for the body.
Fruitarians who have fruits, both fresh and dry, are able to prevent weight gain to a great extent. There are some studies in the past that have clearly shown the effects of fruits diet on weight loss.
In a particular study 11 overweight men were put on a fruit diet for six months. They had only fruits, fresh or dry, and nothing else.
The result of this study was on the expected lines, as all of them lost several pounds of weight. Four of them end up having the body weight below the healthy level.
It was also noted that the participants in the study experienced satiety much faster in comparison to the normal diet.
If you are a diehard fast-food and junk foods enthusiast, it is a nice option for you to switch over to fruits instead. You are certainly going to lose a lot of extra pounds and prevent a number of future health complications if you can strictly substitute junk foods with fruits and veggies.
Proven Health Benefits Of Fruit Diet
It will be nice for us to have a look at what does the studies and researches tell about the fruit diet.
Several of the studies, both observational and experimental, on diet habits have shown that people who have fruits and vegetables as a staple diet is less prone to diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases.
According to one particular observational study conducted in the US, that had 9,665 participants, found that women have 46% lesser risk of becoming diabetic with fruits and vegetable diet.
There is another observational study that has shown the women who are on vegetables and fruits diets have the least risk of breast cancer. Especially apples and pomegranates, soybeans, all orange colored fruits and veggies, berries, and broccoli are excellent for preventing breast cancer.
According to some other studies, the major killer diseases like heart attacks and strokes could be prevented to a large extent with fruits and vegetables rich diet. Fruits like oranges and pomegranates are known for their benefit in promoting better health of heart and brain.[8,9]
Few observational studies on Type II Diabetes have noted that people who have grapes, apples and blueberries in the diet is more resistant to this disease.
Going by the nutritional value, each of the fruits has several health benefits. None can deny the importance of fruits to the body.
However, it must be important to note here anything in excess is not going to help either. Fruits must be consumed as part of a balanced diet.
What is required here is having verities of fruits as an unavoidable item in your daily diet.
Fruits Contain Vitamins And Nutrients
Some dietitians and health gurus simply condemn and discard fruits just because of the fructose in them. It is quite absurd and thoughtless.
Fruits, in general, have several nutrients and vitamins that are gold for good health. They are rich in vitamins, fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
In fact, fruits are the best natural sources for many of the essential vitamins and minerals. Since we can eat fruits without cooking, the nutrients in the fruits remain much more intact than in the cooked foods.
Some of the vitamins and minerals are mostly found only in the fruits; for example Folate, Potassium, Vitamin C, etc. our body can mostly get from fruits than other foods.
As for the nutritional value, each kind of fruit is different as the number of vitamins and minerals found in them varies in types and amounts. So it is important we have different types of fruits as possible in our daily diet plan.
More than the taste, it is important that we give preference to those fruits that have a good amount of fiber, minerals, and vitamins in them.
What Is Bad About The Fruits?
Fruits are nature’s gift to humans and animals.
For most of us, the absence of fruits on the daily menu can make us feel as though the food is incomplete.
However, there can also be cases where fruits are not so good for some.
The diabetes patients (in America 10% of the population) will have to think twice before they gorge on their favorite fruits.
Most of the fruits have a good amount of natural fructose in them. Fructose is similar to sugar that can gradually raise the sugar levels in the blood.
There are a lot of arguments for and against the fructose present in fruits. Most of the health experts agree that the amount of fructose contained in naturally grown fruits is minimal and perfect for the health. It is almost impossible to exceed the fructose intake limits by eating fruits.[17,18]
The actual problem lies in the fruits got from the genetically modified high breeding fruit trees like mangoes, bananas, berries, etc. grown in controlled farming. The amount of sugar content in them is a lot higher than those fruit trees grow naturally.
The wild berries and apples are not sweet and tasty as the one we use from those hybridized fruit trees grown in the orchards.
The fructose (sugar) in the fruit juices is quickly digested and absorbed by the body which leads to the rise of sugar levels in the blood.
When we have fruit juices, we are having the fruits without the fibrous content. The fiber in fruits is excellent for healthy metabolism, and it also reduces the absorption of sugar and carbohydrates.
The American Diabetes Association recommends natural sugar in fruits as perfect for diabetes patients as this fructose is not so significant. The body does not fully absorb the fructose in fruits because of the fibrous content in the fruits itself.
However, diabetes patients could avoid pineapple and sweet melons as they have a higher glycemic index in comparison to other fruits.
It is not healthy to have regularly the packaged fruits juices, dry fruits, fructose syrups and any processed fruits’ delicacies with added sugar and preservatives.
Fructose In Fruits Is Not Like The Fructose Corn Syrup
There is a misconception among some people that fructose in fruits is the same as the fructose in corn syrup. Scientifically speaking the fructose found in corn and fruits are similar except for the density of sugar concentration in them.
The fructose in corn syrups comes in two compositions HFCS-42 and HFCS-55. The amount of glucose and fructose contained in it is very similar to the table sugar.
The fructose in fruits is minimal and at a healthy level acceptable to the human body.
For example, an orange contains only 12 gram of sugar, and a cup of strawberry contains only 8 grams of sugar. The maximum amount of calories added by them could be not more than 60 calories.
On the other hand, a bottle of soda (20 ounces) contains up to 60 grams of sugar (fructose corn syrup mostly used) equal to 225 calories.
The body does not fully absorb fructose from fruits and even the absorption process is very gradual. But the high fructose from corn syrups are quickly absorbed and processed by the liver, and the sugar levels in the blood can rise quickly with it.
The human body is well adapted to the fructose in the fruits. The artificially manufactured fructose from corn and honey is a high fructose and glucose concentrate that is not healthy if taken regularly.
When Should Fruits Be Avoided?
Moderation in everything is the key to a healthy and happy life.
Even sweetest honey can turn into a bitter health disaster if consumed excessively.
Anyone who is on a strict low-carb diet, not more than 50 – 60 grams of carbohydrate per day, cannot think of having fruits. This is typical of ketogenic diet plan where one is trying to make the brain to function on ketone bodies instead of glucose got from carbohydrate.
For example, an apple has about 25 grams of carbohydrate in it……it is quite similar to other fruits too… so it is not possible to have fruits for people on a ketogenic diet plan.
Severe Type-II Diabetes patients must be very careful with even little variations in sugar levels in the blood. As they are super sensitive to sugar, even the minimal amount of fructose in the fruits can bring about the fluctuation in their blood sugar level.[26,27]
The Final Word On Fruits
Fruits and vegetables are the healthiest foods per all medical estimations and studies. Fruits are super foods that must be compulsorily included in everyone’s daily diet.
Only those who are hypersensitive to fructose or on strict ketogenic diet plan should think of avoiding fruits. Otherwise, fruits are one of the most relishing and satiating food that has numerous health benefits.
However, fruit juices and dry fruits do NOT have the fullest benefit that you can get a whole fresh fruit.
Dry fruits have a much higher amount of sugar than that of whole fruit. Most people also have a natural tendency to eat a large quantity of dry fruit at a time as it is less satiating and filling.
The chewing resistance and fiber content in the whole fruit is beneficial as it can suppress the appetite, reduce the absorption of sugar and improve the overall metabolism.