Now that summer has kicked into full gear, I hope that your fruit consumption has too! The FDA recommends that you eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables everyday. Surely, eating 5 servings of just vegetables would be good for your health, but what if you ate 5 servings of just fruit? Is that good for you? We have been told that sugar is bad for us our whole lives, and we know that fruit has a lot of sugar in it. So, it couldn't possibly be healthy to eat more than a few servings a day, right? A study was done in 2001 showing that even a whopping 20 servings of fruit a day showed no negative side effects after 3-6 months. The participants of the study actually lost weight and had lower cholesterol. Sugar in fruit is not processed the way that raw sugar is. A more recent study shows that strawberries after a meal actually reduces blood lipids (fat cells). Processed sugar causes an insulin release leading to higher blood sugar and the inevitable sugar crash.

Of course, there are other studies that debunk the healthiness of fruit saying that it is high in calories, carbs, and sugar. Again, we are reminded of the good carb vs bad carb debate. Good carbs are considered food that are absorbed slowly and resist a spike in blood sugar and provide a huge amount of fiber. Foods included in this category are whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans. Bad carbs are foods that are absorbed very quickly into our systems and are turned into sugar for energy. Foods included in this category are white breads, rice, and other processed grains that have been stripped of their fiber. Many dieting websites make a point to monitor your fruit intake for fear of it “wrecking” your calorie intake. I believe that given the choice between a piece of whole wheat toast and an apple, you should always try to choose the apple. Integrate fruit back into your diet! Everybody processes things differently, so be sure not to go overboard.

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