You’ve likely been told about the importance of eating fruit since you were a kid, but have you ever wondered if there is such a thing as eating too much?
While loading your diet with fruit seems like a no brainer — after all, you’re getting a dose of fibre, vitamins, antioxidants and it will even satisfy the sweet tooth for some.
Fruit has a high fructose content, a form of sugar the requires careful monitoring.
It has been argued that even though the sugar is coming from a nutritional source, it does not satisfy hunger and in turn can cause you to consume more than you need, which can lead to weight gain. However, it can also be argued that without the natural sugars found in fruit you’d be at a major energy deficit.
“Too much sugar, of any type, causes your blood sugar to rise, which triggers insulin release,” Alissa Rumsey, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic, told Women’s Health.
It’s therefore important you understand the different types of sugars you can consume.
Glucose is a sugar that helps keep all your systems running smoothly. Carbohydrates break down into glucose and this becomes your body’s main source of fuel.
Fructose is the only form of sugar found in fruits. It’s metabolised in your liver, which is unlike other types of sugar that get dealt with in your blood stream.
Your table sugars are known as sucrose, and this is really just a combination of glucose and fructose.
When you have high blood sugar it’s because there is too much glucose in your blood, and this can lead to diabetes. The foods that usually lead to this include white rice or white flour baked goods.
However, it’s a little known fact fructose can also play a part in bumping up your blood sugar levels and risk of developing diabetes. Because it is processed in the liver, your liver takes any excessive sugar intake and turns it into triglycerides, which it stores in fat cells throughout your body.
How much fruit should you be eating?
There’s a reason dieticians and governments recommend two and five, however if your activity level varies from day-to-day you can go as high as four servings.
A standard serve of fruit is around 150g, so you’re looking at one medium apple, banana, orange or pear; two small apricots, kiwifruits or plums; 1 cup of diced or canned fruit (with no added sugar).
When it comes to fruit, it turns out there really is such a thing as ‘too much of a good thing’. Just don’t cut fruit from your diet completely.