eating simply, simply eating: why we need fruit

 

High levels of sugar in processed foods have become increasingly recognised as a major cause of obesity and ill health. Rejection of sugar has also led to many people becoming concerned about sugar in fruit. Today we explain how fruits contribute to better health, as important sources of antioxidants and fibre, while our Registered Dietician, Cara Rosenbloom, puts any other fears to rest in her piece, If sugar is bad for my health, do I need to stop eating fruit?

Fruit: the importance of phytonutrients

The USDA recommends high levels of phytonutrients in our diets. The secret to achieving this is eating fruit. The six most important phytonutrients are: carotenoids, ellagic acid, flavonoids, resveratrol, glucosinolates and phytoestrogen, with many others still being identified. They all may aid in various ways in keeping our body functioning correctly.

Fruit: excellent sources of many essential nutrients

Essential nutrients are often under-consumed in our regular diets, but fruit is rich in:

  • potassium
  • dietary fibre
  • vitamin C
  • folic acid

Meanwhile a diet rich in fruits may reduce the risk of developing:

  • obesity and type 2 diabetes
  • heart disease
  • kidney stones

It may also help protect against certain types of cancers, aid in decreasing bone loss and help with maintaining a healthy weight

But what about the sugar?

For anyone still concerned, the way fruit delivers sugar is very different to many other sugary treats. The sugar found in fruits is packed inside cells. Digestive enzymes must break these down to free the fruit sugar, releasing it slowly into the bloodstream. This process helps us to feel fuller on less sugar faster and for longer in comparison to eating a sweet pastry or drinking a glass of fruit juice, where the sugar is released immediately in greater and faster volume. All sweet treats are not equal in their impact on our well-being, with fruit being top of the list as a snack or treat.

Fruits can be fresh, frozen, dried or canned in water or natural fruit juice, but avoid fruits canned in syrup, and be sure to drain all canned fruits. Always eat the whole fruit, and don’t be afraid to enjoy a full variety; according to a study in which participants ate 20 portions of fruits per day for 12-24 weeks, no ill effects were found.

Just Routine is our real food app. Designed to be inclusive, to avoid cutting out macro or micro nutrients from our eating regimes, six key food groups lie at its core: Protein, Carbohydrates, Legumes, Vegetables, Fruits, Fats. It’s about eating simply, simply eating.

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Iris is the founder of No Targets Just Routine. She has researched food since 2009 and believes “Happiness is real food shared with loved ones.”

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