When considering a healthy breakfast, do you pile your plate high with fruits? And when looking around the kitchen for a healthy afternoon snack, do you find yourself often reaching for a piece of fruit from the fruit bowl?
You aren’t alone if you load up your daily diet with fruit, thinking that you are making a healthy choice and doing your body a favor. But while fruit does have some health benefits, it’s not a good idea to eat too much of it on a regular basis.
Let’s take a look at why fruit isn’t as healthy as you might think it is, and how to make more mindful choices when it comes to including fruit in your diet.
Now it makes sense if you think of fruit as healthy. It’s true that fruit has some health benefits, and there’s a lot of research that suggests eating fruit can be good for you when included as part of a well-rounded diet.
And clearly, eating fruit is nowhere near as bad as eating refined sugar, processed foods, and junk foods; fruit is certainly a healthier alternative to choose from when you might have otherwise reached for chips, cookies, candy, or dessert.
But that doesn’t mean we should eat as much fruit as we want without limits. Why is that?
It turns out that along with the health benefits of fruit, there is also some evidence that fruit can have potential harmful effects on your health as well. The major problem with fruit is its high sugar content. Fruits are high in a type of simple sugar called fructose, which is associated with various health problems.
When we eat fruit, it can lead to big spikes in blood sugar which can have harmful effects in the body. Eating too much sugar (even from fruit) and eating it regularly on a daily basis can put you at risk for things like weight gain, kidney issues, diabetes, or tooth decay for example.[1,3] Even though the sugar from fruit is from a natural source, it still acts like sugar in the body and can cause harm.
So, while fruit can play a role in a healthy diet, it shouldn’t play a starring role. With the exception of certain fruits (like all types of berries), fruits should be something we add in here and there but don’t rely on heavily as part of our daily eating patterns.
Instead of packing our diets with fruit, it is much healthier to turn to vegetables instead.
Vegetables are packed with fiber, potassium, and many other important nutrients that support the body. And at the same time, they are low in sugar and tend to be low in carbs, too.
So when you eat veggies, you get all the benefits of powerful plant-based nutrition without the drawback of the high sugar content that you get when you eat fruit.
Cruciferous veggies, in particular, are extremely nutritious and have amazing health benefits. This family of vegetables includes green leafy plants like kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage. People who eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables tend to have lower risks for chronic health conditions like cardiovascular disease and even different types of cancer.
The more vegetables you can add to your diet, and the greater the variety, the better. In fact, eating a lot of different veggies can help to decrease your risk of health problems like coronary heart disease.
As we’ve learned, fruit in excess isn’t as healthy as you might have thought.
But that doesn’t mean you have to cut it out completely. Instead, fruit should be consumed in an intentional, mindful way.
Here are some guidelines on the healthy way to add fruit to your diet:
So, is fruit every day really healthy? Unless it’s berries, my answer is no!
I do believe that fruit has its place in a healthy diet, but unfortunately, I think a lot of people make the mistake of eating too much fruit in their daily lives.
Here are the main points that I want you to remember:
It all comes down to this: eat fruit in moderation, make berries your go-to fruit choice, and pack your diet with as many vegetables as you can.
Soon, we will find ourselves deep in the middle of winter. There are some great things about winter to look forward to like the holidays, snow, winter sports, and cozy times at home. And there are also some drawbacks about winter that aren’t as exciting like shorter days, colder temperatures, bad weather, and less sun.
Less sun doesn’t just get in the way of activities like beach days and picnics. It also poses a potential problem when it comes to our health. You see, our bodies need sunlight in order to make vitamin D, which is an essential nutrient that plays many important roles in the body.