You’ve no doubt heard about all the health benefits of eating fruit. It’s loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals that you need to stay healthy. However, there’s a new trend where a person only eats fruit or eats mostly fruit, balanced with small amounts of food from the other food groups. This might sound healthy, but experts are saying it might not be. The practice is called “overfruiting,” and here’s why it might not be a good choice for you.
1. Fruit Still Contains Calories, Even if It’s a Health Food
The bottom line when it comes to controlling your weight is to balance your calories taken in with your calories burned. Yes, fruit is a great food for your healthy diet, but it does contain calories so if you overdo it, you may be taking in more calories than you need, which can cause the weight to pile on.
2. You Can’t Cover Bad Food Choices by Eating Fruit
A Big Mac is still a Big Mac, even if you eat an apple with it instead of the fries. Fruit should be a balanced part of your meal plan, but you can’t expect it to counteract your poor food choices. Experts say that fruit should be part of a healthy meal plan, not your insurance to eat whatever you want, whenever you want it.
3. Fruit Contains Sugar so You Must Balance It
Yes, the sugar in fruit is natural and you might think you have a free for all when you chow down on it. That’s simply not the case though. While the sugar may be naturally occurring and therefore better than added sugar, it still adds up to calories and contributes to your daily quota. For example, 1 cup of grapes contains 23 grams of sugar.
4. Fruit Won’t Cover All of Your Nutritional Needs
While fruit contains a wealth of nutrients, it definitely doesn’t cover all of your daily needs. For example, fruit isn’t all that high in protein, which your body needs for a wide range of functions. You don’t want to skimp on protein, but if you eat too much fruit, you may wind up doing just that. It’s best to balance fruit with a variety of other healthy foods.
5. You Might Still Be Hungry
While fruit is fairly high in fiber, which you’d think would satisfy your appetite, experts say that it may not totally fill you up. Your best bet when it comes to filling up is a healthy mix of protein, fiber and good fats. Fruit is lacking in the protein and the fat so you might eat a bunch of it, but still feel hungry. Combine your fruit with some nuts or cheese to get the right ratio of nutrients.
6. Fruit Might Not Even Help You Lose Weight
Studies show that people who eat a lot of fruit might not necessarily lose any weight at all. People tend to add fruit to their already large portions, which may increase nutrient intake, but may mean you are getting to many calories. Plus, people often eat way more than one serving of fruit at a time, making it hard to calculate calorie intake. The bottom line: don’t rely on a ton of fruit to help you shed pounds.
7. Here’s How to Keep It Perfectly under Control
OK, now that you know that you shouldn’t eat only fruit, how much is the right amount? Experts suggest two pieces or two cups of fresh fruit each day. Combine this with vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein. If you’re trying to lose weight, experts say you should cut back to 1 cup per day and women who get a lot of exercise can eat a bit more.
How much fruit do you eat? Will you be cutting back now that you’ve read this?