Avoid Refined Sugar And Fructose But Not Fruit

set of ripe berries on a white background

(DGIwire) — The evidence appears to be building a case that refined sugars and fructose, like high fructose corn syrup, in commonly consumed quantities, may be harmful and should be eliminated or severely restricted in our diets.  This looks like sound advice.  However, a problem arises when health or weight-loss “experts” start telling people that they should eliminate or restrict fruits due to sugar or fructose content.

There are some very healthy and lean people whose diets consist of predominately fruits.  Although an all fruit diet is not recommended, fruits should definitely not be eliminated or restricted from your diet.  The evidence is overwhelming that fruits and especially berries are high-nutrient, low calorie, high moisture-content foods that have health promoting properties.

As more and more studies are discovering and examining the antioxidant and phytonutrient content in fruits and the underlying health benefits of these compounds, eliminating or restricting consumption would definitely result in more harm than good.

Fresh fruits, as delivered by Mother Nature, are very high in water content which makes them very filling and an ideal delivery system for the nutrients they contain.  Fruits feed and hydrate your body at the same time.  In fact, studies show that fruit consumption is more effective in hydrating your body than drinking plain water.  The high moisture content also makes them relatively low calorie.  Yes, this even includes bananas which are 75% water by weight.  It would be very difficult to maintain your weight and excess fat on an all fruit diet.  This is because the water, fiber and nutrient content of fresh whole fruits makes over-eating them highly unlikely.

“We all naturally crave something sweet at times and fruit should be your number one choice when the urge arises.  Artificial sweeteners are not the answer and neither is an ultra-low carbohydrate diet.  Our bodies operate best when we have an adequate but not excessive supply of natural carbohydrates.  Fruits, leafy greens, non-starchy veggies and tubers are the go-to foods to meet our requirements, according to Tom Griesel, co-author of TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (BSH 2010).

A true balanced diet is not low or high calorie, low or high protein, low or high carbohydrate or low or high fat.  It is a diet which contains an adequate but not excessive amount of all these nutrients, derived from the highest nutrient-per-calorie, fresh and natural food choices available.  Fresh fruits, vegetables, tubers, nuts, seeds, and quality protein and fats from eggs, fish and meats all fit this description.

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