Fruit, weight loss and breakfast smoothies
Does too much fruit make you fat?
In the world of nutrition and weight loss I see a lot of people getting rather confused about fruit. I hope to clear up that confusion.
Quite rightly, over recent years sugar has come under the spotlight as ‘public enemy No.1’ in the battle against the obesity epidemic, but along the way, some people have pointed out that fruit is also full of sugar, and some folks are out there saying that eating too much fruit contributes to unwanted weight gain, so you should cut back. I see bloggers telling people “bananas make you fat” and advising people to “stay away from fruit if you are on a diet” and this strikes me as madness!
In a world where too many people eat too much junk food, and where surveys in the UK show that only around a third of the adult population get even close to eating their 5-a-day, I think telling people to stay away from fruit is utterly bonkers! This whole topic has become a little confusing, so let’s clear that up.
It’s true that fruit is full of sugar, a type of sugar called fructose. However, in your body, fructose acts differently to the kind of sugar you get from eating chocolate or white bread (called glucose). Eating fruit won’t create the ‘insulin spike’ we have heard of, so eating fruit isn’t going to contribute to insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes the way eating confectionery and white carbs do. That’s good news.
And if eating fruit isn’t leading to an insulin spike, then it’s not going to lead to gaining body fat. Right?
Well, actually, fructose goes to the liver where, if you have an excess present, then that excess is converted to glucose and put back into the blood, where it then will be stored as excess body fat.
Gosh, it’s all very confusing isn’t it!
Think of it this way:
If you live a healthy lifestyle, you are active, you get some kind of exercise most days and you eat a reasonable, balanced diet, including plenty of good foods such as vegetables and fresh fish, then a couple of pieces of fruit per day is absolutely fine, it’s good for you, a beneficial source of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
However, if you are overweight and trying hard to lose the excess body fat, then blending five bananas for breakfast and gulping the lot down in ten minutes flat might not be the smartest way to start the day.
Let me know if you have any questions.