Unfortunately fruit has gotten a lot of bad press lately with the belief that fructose acts in a similar way to the not-so-nice high-fructose corn syrup, associated with metabolic syndrome and heart disease. Well we’re here to let you know that fruit is great when consumed ‘right’! We believe fruit is a nourishing, satisfying and overall healthy part of your diet when consumed following some simple guidelines below…
Eat Fruit As a Snack
Colourful, seasonal fruit comes loaded with key nutrients that are important for optimal health. Notably high in antioxidants, phytonutrients and vitamin C, consuming fruit daily is a great way to load your body with plenty of goodness that will see you fighting fit with awesome energy levels. Eating fruit as a snack rather than a meal is a simple way to monitor your fructose consumption and ensure you are not over-consuming, which may lead to unfavourable spikes in your blood sugar levels.
Avoid Fruit Imposters
Consuming fruit in the way of fruit juices, jams, jellies and dried fruit should be considered a treat rather than counting towards your whole-fruit quota.The key thing to look out for is too much added refined sugar in these ‘fruit imposters’ as this may have a negative impact on health. Not to mention, the fruit is sweet enough with its natural sugars! When purchasing fruit juices, always opt for cold pressed without any additives or preservatives so you are still getting plenty of nutrition without the added nasties. Dried fruit is another ‘seemingly’ healthy product to keep an eye on, with added chemicals like sulphur dioxide often used to preserve colour and syrups often used as an additional sweeter. Always check the ingredients label before purchasing!
Choose the ‘Right’ Fruit
Unfortunately we can’t pile all fruit into the same category. Delicious as they are, some higher sugar-containing fruits like grapes, mangos and bananas should not be over-consumed (definitely still include these beauties in your diet but remember to consume in moderation), while those with a lower sugar, lower GI and higher fibre content make a great choice, for example berries, coconut and avocadoes.
Pair Your Fruit with Protein or Fat
To avoid a fructose surge and to better absorb all the yummy nutrients from your fruit, pair it with some protein or healthy fat to buffer out the sugar load and crank up the yum factor. We love to add a little organic nut butter to our apple slices or mix some berries in with our morning nutty granola. YUM! Another great way of pairing these macronutrients is in a daily smoothie!
Here’s where we need to keep up with The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15 as a guideline for choosing organic; these lists provide us with the most-polluted and least-polluted produce. Here is a handy link to this list. Admittedly buying organic can be more expensive, however it doesn’t have to be if you shop in the right places. If you put a little extra effort into researching local Farmers’ Markets and online companies, they now often provide spray-free and organic food at the same price as conventional produce. PLUS, the more of us that buy organic, the greater demand there is and this will draw prices down over time. So let’s support our local, organic farmers AND our health all in one go!
LOVE Your Fruit!
Like all things, balance is key when it comes to fruit! A few pieces a day of the right fruit can boost your nutrient and fibre intake and provide a delicious sweet snack with no nasties! Don’t treat fruit like the enemy… It is a natural, health-boosting gift to us that should be experimented with in all diets.
We are huge fruit fiends here at I AM Co. and love including a variety of colourful fruits in our morning smoothies, snacks and even to satisfy that post-dinner sweet tooth. We’d love to hear your thoughts on fruit and fructose consumption in the comments below xo