“I don’t think I’ll ever grow old and say, “What was I thinking eating all those fruits and vegetables?” -Nancy S. Mure
It is frustrating that there should be a need to defend fruit. Or any whole, unprocessed food. When the fitness noise becomes too overwhelming, and mixed messages are everywhere, I like to go back to basics. Back to the way we were designed to eat and how people have eaten for thousands of years.
There are three, and only three, macronutrients – protein, fats and carbohydrates (carbs). Our bodies need all three. Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient that gives us energy to workout, to think and to love. Fruit is a carbohydrate and a preferable carbohydrate over grains because it is more nutritious than grains and most other carbohydrates.
- Fruit gets a bad rap because of the sugar content, but fruit binds its sugar by trapping it amongst fibrous alpha linkages and therefore is digested more slowly than the sugar consumed without fiber.
- Fruit is an important source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including very potent “flavonoid” compounds and the anti-aging resveratrol found in grapes.
- Fruit helps maintain optimum health due to the health promoting phytochemicals it contains – many of which are still being identified.
- Fruit is often perfectly proportioned for a serving.
- Fruit never needs to be cooked or processed.
- Fruit is a healthy way to satisfy that sweet tooth that may be inherent in the DNA of many people.
- Fruit is high in fiber and aids digestion.
8. Fruit is visually appealing and should be ample evidence that we were meant to eat it.
As good as fruit is for us let’s not go crazy. Here are a few tips on eating fruit in a way that does not interfere with our efforts to be lean:
- Eat a portion of fruit about the size of your clenched fist.
- Rather than using fruit as a snack, eat fruit as part of a meal that includes fat and protein. Both the fat and protein, as well as the fiber in the fruit, will slow the sugar absorption so that it becomes a steady source of fuel.
- Remember to count your fruit as your carb for that meal.
- Fruit is best consumed earlier in the day when you need energy.
“Give me juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red from the orchard.”-Walt Whitman