Dr. Carel le Roux, consultant in Metabolic Medicine at the Imperial College in London says, "One of the problems is people forget that fruit - like all food - contains calories. And the calories in fruit can make you just as overweight as those in chocolate."When it comes to dieting, fruits and vegetables are considered the safest options. Many of us believe that they are the only solution to lose excess weight. The fact is, though it helps in losing extra pounds, there is something more to this information. Fruits are rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, and also protect and cure us from a number of diseases. They are good, and that is why they are recommended by doctors. But, did you know that excess consumption of fruits can make you gain weight, and even trigger dental problems? Yes, it's true. But this is the case only when they are consumed in excess.
According to the government recommended amount, one should eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, of which 2 servings should be fruits and 3 servings should be vegetables. You can exceed this amount if you need to gain weight, but should avoid eating in excess when you already have extra pounds.
Overeating any type of food, whether it is fruits or vegetables, may cause some or the other complications. Fruits contain calories, and excess fruits means excess calories, which causes weight gain. In fact, when we eat excess fruit, we do not even feel full.
Fruits are packed with sugar, which is known as fructose. When we eat food (excluding fruits), it breaks down into glucose. Our body releases insulin, which indicates to our brain that the stomach is full, hence, we stop eating. But when we eat fruits, it releases fructose, which does not trigger the release of insulin, hence, we do not feel full. This leads to overeating, and we dump an excess of sugar in our body.
Glenys Jones, a nutritionist at the Medical Research Council of Human Nutrition, says "Everything in moderation. Just as you make a decision not to eat a packet of biscuits, you should think about portion control when it comes to fruit."
Too much sugar in the body, whether glucose or fructose, results in an increased level of triglycerides, that are associated with heart disease. Diabetic patients should also be careful about the fruit they eat, as it may shoot up blood sugar levels.
Dr. Carel le Roux, a consultant in Metabolic Medicine at the Imperial College, London, says "People who are obese or have heart conditions should limit their fruit to one portion a day, along with four portions of vegetables. You'd still have plenty of antioxidants, but you'd bring your fructose levels and calories down."
While eating fruits, not only the portion, but the type of fruit also plays an important role in gaining calories. For example, a medium-sized banana has about 110 calories, 30g of carbohydrates, which includes 19g of sugar, whereas, a medium-size grapefruit has approximately 60 calories and 15g of carbohydrates, including sugar. So, avoiding high-calorie fruits can help you a lot in maintaining weight.
Some low-calorie fruits are blueberries, pears, apples, strawberries, plums, peaches, grapefruits, and cherries. Fruits which are high in calories include melons, kiwis, grapes, watermelons, and pineapples.
This proves that you should keep the calorie content in mind while planning what you eat daily. Even the age, gender, and health should be considered while planning your diet. Always opt for fresh fruits, as fruit juices and dried fruits have less fiber and more calories. Eat fruits in moderation, and discuss your daily consumption with your nutritionist.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and does not, in any way, attempt to replace the advice offered by a nutritionist.