Fruits have for a long time been touted as some of the healthiest food choices you can ever make…
And for good reasons…
They load the most powerful antioxidant properties on earth…
And you know what antioxidants mean for your health!
But there’s still a lingering question…begging for an answer…
Which fruits should you indulge? Are they all the same?
Different fruits have varied ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity)…
Meaning varied antioxidant content levels…
And the higher the ORAC, the better the fruit for your health.
So, which fruits are the best for you given that many contain fairly high amounts of sugar?
Nutritionists place a higher premium on some fruit types than others…
Berries top the list, though this remains arguable.
Is there science to back the position that berries are some of the best fruits you can ever indulge, notwithstanding all the misinformation and confusion flying around?
The simple answer is “Yes“.
Berries pack quite a wallop when it comes to antioxidants and polyphenols.
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and even raspberries all get a thumbs up…
And cherries add to the list as well.
You’re, however, strongly advised to go for organic with these fruits.
The above choices stand out when compared to other fruits. They’re fairly low in sugar, but high in nutrients you can indulge as part of healthful recipes.
It’s worth noting that some of the fruits we consume regularly are not quite as healthy as they’re hyped.
More often than not, deeply vested commercial interests tend to get between our health and the food choices we find on the market…
But even then, some lowly rated fruit types are still ideal…
And here are some:
The mighty bananas are some of the most common fruits nearly everywhere on earth, even though, very high in sugar, which is a potential problem for some.
The average person consumes over 25 pounds of bananas every year.
Bananas are actually the fourth most popular agricultural product in the world.
Notably, fruits with high sugar content can raise your blood sugar, potentially leading to many health complications, including diabetes.
Bananas contain almost an entire day’s worth of sugar, yet very few vitamins and minerals. This is the exact opposite of an ideal fruit.
We want fruits that are nutrient-dense, fairly low in sugar–especially fructose, and high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
But even with all this, bananas are still a pretty good overall choice, since you’re still eating a fruit, anyway!
Just don’t load up on bananas if you have blood sugar issues, or are highly sedentary.
And while you can, try to replace some bananas with a good serving of berries.
What about apples?
Do they really hold up to the old “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” credo?
Unfortunately, available data does not quite support that hypothesis. In fact, apples are the absolute last in terms of nutrient density!
I know this is contrary to what you’ve been told, but it’s a nutritional scientific fact.
Apples are also high in sugar–19 grams in less than 100 calories!
This is close to an entire day’s worth of sugar requirement.
Given all this, it’s apparent that apples do not hold up to daily consumption, either.
But remember, semi-occasional indulgence of apples won’t send you downhill…and they’re still a whole, fibrous fruit.
Apples are certainly a better choice than soda. Vitamin C, fiber, and quercetin are major reasons why you’d want to eat apples regularly…
But you can also find such nutrients in better choices like berries.
“An apple a week” might be a slightly better rule to follow.
Fruit juices enter the scene…
How healthy are they? Of course, their popularity is not in question.
Nearly everyone drinks fruit juice on a weekly basis, despite the fact that it’s eerily similar to soda in many respects.
People don’t seem to realize that these juices are stripped of all fiber.
Regular excessive consumption of juice is metabolically unhealthy, and less than ideal for your teeth.
Fruit juices are a common misstep in an otherwise healthy diet plan, and nearly everyone is guilty of indulging.
The good news is that if you keep your consumption in check, and avoid indulging them regularly, you can still reap some inherent health benefits.
Beware…advertisers will not relent in their campaigns to portray fruit juices as healthy, despite their high fructose content, which is bad for your liver.
Expert advice is…
Ignore the screaming “hard sell” ads, shun the juices, and eat some berries and other whole fruits…
And in the end, your brain, liver, and whole body will reward you for it.
If you’re looking to optimize your diet and keep your sugar intake low–something critically important in today’s over-sweetened world–fruit intake should be kept fairly low.
On the flipside, vegetables are largely more nutrient-dense, much lower in sugar content, and also lower in calories…
Not to mention that they also contain more fiber.
So, on a balancing scale, indulge more vegetables than most common fruits, which do not get a free pass…
The natural sugar they contain makes them just as bad as soda…
And they’re not “super-foods” as you’ve been misled to believe.
Are athletes an exception?
While those who are active certainly require more carbohydrates in their diet, they still need to keep daily sugar intake fairly low, as it’s not good for the teeth and liver.
The only time this guideline can be breached is right around the workout window, when your body can utilize some extra sugar to replenish glycogen stores.
But this doesn’t mean going hog wild!
It simply means athletes can get away with a little more fruit in their diet on a regular basis.
Keep in mind that sugar from soda is not really any different than fruit sugar!
There’s a misconception out there, thanks to sustained misinformation, that sugar in fruit juices is better and harmless. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Sugar is just sugar…
And any in excess amounts will visit the same debilitating health consequences on you!
The bottom line is…
Substitute most common fruits with dark berries as a healthier option, and overall, keep fruit intake fairly low.
The vast majority of your carbs should come from starch-rich sources like sweet potatoes, coupled with lots of vegetables for optimal health.
The ultimate fruit choices are organic berries and cherries…
And suffice it to say that the extra price tag is worth it.
Once in a while, you can moderately indulge apples, bananas, mangos, watermelon, papayas, and others, just to vary your mix.
There you are…
Share your thoughts about fruits.
Thank you for your patronage.