5 Fruit Myths

Julia Barber

Julia Barber

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5 Fruit Myths

Let's talk about fruit...nature's candy! Everyone knows fruit is healthy, it's packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. It’s also low in sodium, fat, and calories. Consuming fruit has been shown to reduce the risk of many diseases as well as aid in a healthier diet overall. It can also be a great source of energy

The USDA recommends consuming 1-2 cups of fruit daily depending on your age, sex, and level of physical activity: 


  • Children
  • 2-3 years old - 1 cup
  • 4-8 years old - 1-1 ½ cup


  • Girls 
  • 9-13 years old - 1 ½ cup

    14-18 years old - 1 ½ cups 


  • Boys
  • 9-13 years old - 1 ½ cup 

    14-18 years old - 2 cups 


  • Women
  • 19-30 years old - 2 cups 

    31-50 years old - 1 ½ cups 

    51+ years old - 1 ½ cup 


  • Men
  • 19-30 years old - 2 cups 

    31-50 years old - 2 cups 

    51+ years old - 2 cups


    Are you consuming your recommended amount of fruit daily? If so, great! We’re proud of you and keep it up! If not, what’s stopping you? Are you worried about all of the sugar in fruit? Are you trying to limit carbs? Diabetic? 


    Whatever the reason, we’re here to make sure that you don’t fall victim to these myths and don’t let fruit intimidate you anymore. 


    Myth 1: There’s too much sugar in fruit

    Excessive sugar intake can be harmful to your health, yes, but not all sugar is created equal. There’s natural sugar in foods like fruit, grains, dairy products, and even vegetables. Then there’s refined sugar such as white sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, palm sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc. These sugars differ from natural sugar as they have been processed in some way. Refined sugar, along with some preservatives, are often added to foods to make them taste better and last longer, hence why fruit doesn’t last that long (natural sugar and no preservatives). 


    Fruit sugar is digested much slower than refined sugar. This is because the fiber in fruit slows down the digestion of sugar. Refined sugar usually has little to no fiber which allows the sugar to travel through your bloodstream quicker--this is why you may experience a “sugar high” followed by extreme tiredness. 


    While it’s important to monitor your sugar intake regardless of the type of sugar you are consuming, sugar from fruit is the healthier option and affects your body differently than refined sugars. 


    Myth 2: I can’t eat fruit on my low carb diet

    The average piece of fruit contains anywhere from 15-30 grams of carbs, so if you’re on a low carb diet you may be a little hesitant to add fruit to your diet. But good news, fruit can and should be part of a healthy low carb diet


    Fruits contain varying amounts of carbs, so choosing the right ones in the right amounts means that you can still enjoy fruit and all of its benefits while you cut carbs. Below are some low carb fruits that you can enjoy while sticking to your low carb diet. 


    Fruit

    Serving Size

    Carbs

    Raspberries

    ½ cup

    3 grams 

    Blackberries

    ½ cup 

    4 grams 

    Strawberries

    8 medium sized 

    6 grams 

    Plum

    One medium sized

    7 grams 

    Watermelon

    ⅔ cup

    7.55 grams

    Clementine

    ⅔ cups 

    8 grams

     

    Myth 3: Fruit will make me gain weight

    Fruit can actually have the opposite effect of this myth and aid in weight loss. Fruit is generally low in calories and it is also satisfying. It can help to curb a sweet tooth and make you feel fuller without the extra calories or fat. Incorporating low calorie fruits into your diet could also make you eat less of other foods during the course of the day because of how filling they are. 


    Just like carbs, fruit also varies in calorie content. Below are some great low calorie fruits to incorporate into your diet. 


    Fruit

    Serving Size 

    Calories 

    Peach 

    1 peach 

    27 calories 

    Grapefruit

    ½ grapefruit 

    37 calories 

    Strawberries 

    1 cup sliced 

    50 calories 

    Watermelon 

    1 cup 

    51 calories 

    Papaya

    1 cup  

    54 calories 


    Myth 4: I can’t eat fruit because I have diabetes

    Fruit can be a diabetic friendly treat that can help keep your blood sugar within a healthy range. As we said above, fruit is loaded with fiber which is a powerful nutrient that can help regulate blood sugar levels. Fiber promotes feelings of fullness and can help curb unhealthy cravings and overeating. Maintaining a healthy weight can increase your insulin sensitivity and help with your diabetes management. 


    Because fruit does contain carbohydrates, it’s important to account for the carbs from the fruit you consume in your daily carb intake. Portion control is key! You should aim to consume whole, non-processed fruits in their natural form and avoid any processed fruits with added sugar as they can spike your blood sugar. 


    Myth 5: All fruit is created equal

    Have you ever tried cutting a pineapple or mango? Well, it's hard and time consuming. Which is why we have the option of buying it canned or dried. But it’s important to know that the nutrition facts of a whole pineapple vs a canned or dried one are very different. 


    Canned fruit can often be packaged in syrup which can double the calories and sugar content. It's important to always read the nutrition label and ingredient list when purchasing canned fruit. If you have to eat canned fruit opt for fruit packaged in 100% fruit juice and avoid sugary syrups. 


    Dried fruit can also harbor extra sugar. Dried fruit has had all of the water taken out of it which just leaves sugar and fiber. There is often sugar added to dried fruit to make it taste sweeter. All dried fruit will be higher in calories and sugar than its whole fruit counterpart. 


    Stick to fresh or frozen fruits. Frozen fruits are generally picked at the peak of their ripeness, when they’re most nutritious, and are great for smoothies, sauces or sorbets. Frozen fruits are often treated with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or added sugar to preserve them, so just like with any other food it’s always important to read the nutrition label and ingredient list and make sure there is no added sugar. 



    The bottom line is that fruit is healthy and it should be incorporated into any healthy diet in moderation. While excess sugar intake can be harmful, this doesn’t necessarily apply to whole fruits as they have natural sugar and are high in nutrients. 


    If you’re on a low carb diet or need to limit sugar you can find fruits lower in calories, sugar, and carbs to cater to your diet. Fruit can also help with your weight loss


    It's best to eat whole fruits in their natural form and avoid fruit packed in sugary syrups, dried, or frozen with extra sugar. You can pair fruit with a fat or protein for a healthy snack, throw it in your smoothie for flavor and natural sweetness, or incorporate it into a meal to complete a flavor profile.

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