Can You Eat Fruit And Lose Weight?

June 13, 2016

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blog_fruitsugarA juicy peach. A slice of refreshing watermelon. A bowl full of strawberries. What do these things have in common? They are some of the sweetest fruits of summer. But when it comes to controlling your weight, is it okay to include them in your plan?

 

Thanks to the new focus on the health risks of sugar in recent years, fruit has become a subject of both confusion and debate. All fruit has some sugar, but is the kind of sugar in fruit as bad as the kind found, in say, a milk chocolate bar?

Let’s start off by first breaking down what sugar actually is. There are three basic types: glucose, fructose, and sucrose. They all fall into the carbohydrate category, which your body needs for energy. However, they each take on different roles in metabolism once they pass the lips.

Glucose is actually the body’s preferred type of sugar as it is the most basic form of carbohydrate used in a high-functioning metabolic process. When people talk about the dangers of sugar, they are mostly referring to fructose and sucrose, which follow different pathways in the body and play a larger role in contributing to the development of fat. Sucrose is actually just a combination of glucose and fructose, so the real “sugar culprit” here is fructose.

Now back to our question, but with a slight twist – fruit fructose vs. milk chocolate bar fructose…

If you consume fructose in the form of fruit, you’ll be gaining benefits other than just the sweet taste. The fiber contained in fruit helps slow down the sugar absorption process, increasing your metabolism and preventing the fructose from being immediately converted into fat. In addition, fruits offer a host of other nutritional benefits in the form of antioxidants, which help fight disease and slow down the aging process. The richer the color of the fruit, the more antioxidant boost you’ll get!

However, if you consume fructose through milk chocolate, you’ve removed the fibrous barrier between the sugar and your digestive system. This basically enables the sugar to act like an express train in your body, bypassing the usual digestive stops and immediately reaching its final destination as fat. And most food manufacturers infamously add more sugar than what your body needs in order to make the product sweeter (and presumably more satisfying so you’ll consume more). The express just turned into a bullet train with the added sugar. Not only does it accelerate fat production, but too much sugar creates intense confusion for the metabolic system overall. This can increase your risk of insulin resistance (the process that serves to balance blood sugar levels) and developing type 2 diabetes.

So, when it comes to whether or not you can eat fruit and control your weight, it’s safe to say that if you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, it is much wiser to choose fruit over processed foods with added sugars. However, you may want to consider eating less of it in the early stages of weight loss to facilitate your initial progress, and then gradually add it back in as your adopt healthier lifestyle behaviors. It’s a personal choice and one you should discuss with an expert to understand what is best for you. So be a peach and talk to your medical weight loss provider, okay?

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