Welcome to another edition of the Doctor’s Note where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health.
This week we are going to talk about FRUITS.
There are many misconceptions about fruits. Most people think all fruits are healthy, but that is not always the case.
Some fruits are good for you and some are bad.
So, which fruits should you avoid and which fruits should you eat?
Let’s talk about it!
What is Fruit?
Fruit is basically sugar which means it is going to be high on the glycemic index. Some fruits have way more sugar than other fruits.
The sugar in fruit is called fructose. This type of sugar does more harm to the body than glucose.
Have you ever noticed that when you eat fruit you never really get full?
Fructose doesn’t act like glucose. It’s hard on your liver, and it doesn’t fill you up! Fructose needs to be converted to glucose by the liver before it can be used by the body.
When people eat a diet that’s high in calories and high in fructose, the liver gets overloaded and starts turning the fructose into fat.
Note: Fruit is still better than high fructose corn syrup because it at least contains fiber.
The best fruits are berries. I tell this to all of my patients. If you are going to eat fruit, eat berries.
None of the berries are really bad for you. They are nutrient dense, low in calories, and low in sugar.
Here are some of the berries that I like:
Fruits to Avoid
Bananas – The most commonly eaten fruit in the world and my least favorite fruit in the world, because it is HIGH in sugar and messes with your hormones.
One banana has the total amount of sugar a person would consume in one day. AND It goes straight to your bloodstream.
Some people are even allergic to them. When I did a food allergy test on myself, bananas were one of the foods it said I should avoid.
Note: Bananas might be okay for athletes who are competing and need a quick energy boost.
Apples – Have you ever heard the term “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well, as It turns out, apples are just as bad as bananas! Maybe even worse.
One reason for this is apples are last on the fruit list in terms of nutrient density (i.e. the amount of fiber, minerals, and vitamins that are in a food).
Like bananas, one apple a day contains the amount of sugar you want to consume for the whole day.
So instead of one apple a day, you might want to consider one apple a week.
Both bananas and apples have fiber, but you can get that by eating other things like greens, spinach and broccoli. Those foods are a lot more nutrient packed.
Fruits Juices – These are stripped of fiber all together and have a ton of sugar in them. Fruit juices are just bad for you!
Remember that life isn’t fair. Some people can eat more fruits than others.
Another thing about fruit is that they are meant to be eaten seasonally. That’s how our ancestors ate fruit. Today it’s in the grocery store every day of the year.
This means it has a lot of stuff on them, like pesticides.
So if you do get fruit, get organic.
Note: The thinner the skin, the more you need to be eating organic.
What should I do?
As I’ve mentioned in this Note, the big problem with fruit is A. the amount of fructose it contains and B. the lack of nutrients.
Eating vegetables is one of the best ways to get a lot of nutrients in your food. They are very nutrient dense, and they don’t have a lot of sugar in them.
Eggs and cheese are also very nutrient dense, plus don’t have a lot of sugar. There is controversy around eggs and cheese, but if you can tolerate them they are very nutrient dense.
Other Nutrition Notes
Saturated fat DOES NOT cause heart disease. Most people know this by now, but it needs to be emphasized.
Vegetables and seafood are very nutrient dense. This is what I try to eat the most of.
Avoid grains and legumes. They both are allergenic and have a lot of pesticides and hormones in them. They are not nutrient dense.
Spinach and kale are great!
Maximizing nutrient density helps you manage your insulin levels, and I believe that insulin level is the key to overall health and managing your weight.
Sugar causes metabolic syndrome which is linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Metabolic syndrome leads to heart disease and cancer.
Don’t consume a lot of fructose! Remember that fructose is worse than glucose because it leads to overeating, and it’s bad for your liver.
Yes, fruits are good for you, as long as they are not high glycemic fruits.
It’s just Common Sense to know your metabolism and choose your fruits wisely.