Written by Charlotte Campbell
Is Fruit Bad For You?
Fruit and vegetables are often hailed as the healthiest things we can eat. They are packed with nutrients and natural sources of energy. We are often encouraged to get 5 portions of fruit and vegetables in a day.
But increasingly, there has been a backlash against fruit. Some diet plans actively discourage fruit outright, while other sources warn of eating too much. A lot of concern surrounding fruits is the sugar content. Many fruits are high in fructose, a natural sugar. But is this a reason to avoid the food group altogether? Or are these fruit fears baseless?
Fructose: The facts
Fructose is literally a fruit sugar. It bonds with glucose (sugar) and is absorbed directly into the bloodstream as you digest it. It is found in fruit, sugarcane, root vegetables and honey, as well as flowers and other plants.
Is Fructose in Other Products?
Yes, fructose is artificially added to juices and food products to sweeten them. This fructose is mostly derived from cane sugar. It is the sweetest natural carbohydrate and blends well with other sugars, so it is a common choice among manufacturers.
Can Fructose Cause Health Issues?
Fructose has been linked to health issues such as diabetes or liver problems. However, this leans more towards the enhanced and artificial fructose which is often combined with other sugars. It would be very unlikely you would manage to eat enough fruit to cause a fructose-related health issue. The small doses that your liver gets through fruit can easily be processed, whereas an intense portion in a can of soft drink would not be processed as simply.
Fruit: The Benefits
Fruits are packed with useful nutrients to help your body work efficiently. Vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and water are all found in fruits.
Not only that, but their vibrant flavours can help to shake up a healthy diet if you’re ever in a rut.
Studies have shown that eating fruit regularly can actually lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Not only that, the sweet flavour of fruit can often curb a craving for something sugary. The fibre content of fruit makes it filling and satisfying as a snack or as part of a meal. So it is particularly useful for those who are controlling their calorie intake.
Will Fruit Affect My Workout Routine?
Fruit is often recommended prior to a workout to maximise results. Bananas, in particular, are a popular pre-workout choice. They are high in sugar and a source of complex carbohydrate, so they give you a sustainable boost of energy to keep you going as you exercise.
When you work out, the sugars and carbohydrates in fruits are converted by the body into energy, and ultimately, lean muscle. So the chances of a tub of grapes derailing your fitness plans are pretty slim. Next time you are heading to the gym, have a portion of fruit around 30 minutes before and see if it makes a positive impact on your routine.