It might sound unconventional, but there are plenty of reasons fruit could make you fat. Fruit is definitely part of any healthy diet, but there really can be too much of a good thing. Keep these seven reasons fruit could make you fat in mind the next time you’ve gained weight and can’t figure out if it’s related to your fruit intake.
1. High Glycemic Index
Surely you’ve heard of the glycemic index. I’m not going to go into the whole mumbo jumbo of this theory, but basically any food that ranks high on the glycemic index chart is a food you shouldn’t be eating. This includes foods like white bread, French fries, and even some fruits like bananas and mangoes. This isn’t to say that bananas make you fat, but if you go from eating one banana a day to four, that will have a significant impact on your insulin levels and could be one of the reasons fruit could make you fat.
2. Beware the Mono Meal
Many 801010 dieters advocate for a practice called the mono meal. During a mono meal, you eat nothing but one type of food (usually a fruit) for a meal. A typical mono meal could be 10 bananas or 5 mangoes or 20 plums, etc. The idea of eating fruit is great, and I commend mono meals for getting us to eat more fruit. But even if it’s just fruit, often these mono meals have way more calories than you’d consume in a standard lunch. A 10 banana lunch can easily rank in at 1,000 calories! And if you’re not burning off those excess calories, this can lead to weight gain—regardless if it’s coming from fruit.
3. Causes a Spike in Blood Sugar
Certain fruits that are high in sugar (bananas, mangoes, and certain peaches) can create a spike in blood sugar. Always try to eat your fruit, wait about 20 minutes, then have some protein like a handful of nuts or a piece of cheese. Fruit eaten without a little protein afterwards can make your insulin levels become super high in an attempt to mitigate the influx of sugar you’ve just consumed. Rapid fluctuations in insulin/blood sugar can not only lead to fatigue and energy crashes but also weight gain.
4. Can Ferment if Not Combined Properly
With that said, fruit should also be consumed on an empty stomach. Kimberly Snyder talks about this in her book The Beauty Detox, where she explains how fruit only takes about 20 minutes to digest and leave your stomach. But if you eat fruit on top of a heavy meal that’s carb or protein-based, the fruit can ferment, leading to intestinal gas and bloating. Food combining is an overlooked, but common reason for weight gain, and fruit is one of the top foods people combine poorly.
5. Fruit is a Simple Sugar
Remember that at the end of the day, fruit is a simple sugar. Simple sugars can lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar. Skittles and Hershey bars are technically simple sugars. This isn’t to say you can’t eat fruit, but that eating too much of it can definitely throw off your blood sugar levels and lead to weight gain.
6. It’s Easy to Underestimate How Much You’re Eating
Because fruit is so healthy and full of vitamins and other nutrients, it’s easy to go overboard. The average piece of medium sized fruit contains between 80-120 calories. It’s very easy to underestimate how much fruit you’re consuming. Three bananas, for instance, might not feel like a lot of food. But for some people that’s calorically an entire meal!
7. Keep Fruit Intake in Line with Your Caloric Needs
Ultimately, your fruit intake needs to be in line with your caloric needs. If you’re trying to lose weight by eating 1600 calories a day, going over that caloric limit—even if it’s in fruit—is not going to lead to weight loss. Sure, not all calories are created equal. But if you’re creating huge surpluses with your mono meals and ultra-creamy banana smoothies, that can definitely have an impact on your weight.
Let’s get one thing straight: fruit does NOT make you fat, and I hope none of you have left with that message. Instead, fruit is just like any other food. Sure, it has plenty of essential nutrients. But if you’re eating too many calories, this is going to lead to weight gain—even if those calories come from fruit. Have you ever experienced weight gain from eating too much fruit?