This blog is written by Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Posts appear Monday & Wednesday.
SPOTLIGHT: Fruit is loaded with sugar.
BIG PICTURE: The US government’s Food Pyramid, first introduced in 1992, depicts a banana, an apple, an orange, and a cluster of grapes. The public has been advised, for decades, to consume two to four servings of fruit every single day.
Parents, teachers, and public health officials have declared ‘fruits and vegetables’ good for us. After all, they’re ‘natural.’ But much of the fruit now available has a higher sugar content than what Mother Nature devised. Centuries of selective breeding has increased the sugar in commonly consumed produce. While crab apples and cider apples tend to be tart, researchers call the ones we routinely devour ‘dessert apples.’
In Nature, fruit is also a seasonal affair – available for only a short span of time. From this perspective, there’s nothing remotely natural about feasting on fresh fruit every day of the year.
If you are among the growing number of people who think the nutritional establishment got it wrong when it demonized fat and encouraged abundant consumption of carbohydrates, fruit suddenly looks a lot less healthy.
Fruit is full of sugar and sugar is a carbohydrate. People trying to lose weight typically restrict their net carb intake to less than 50 grams per day – or even 20. (When counting carbs, the rule of thumb is: grams of carbs minus grams of fiber = net carbs.)
A medium-sized banana contains about 25 grams of carbs, an apple 18, and an orange 15. If the hefty cluster of grapes on the Food Pyramid weighs half a pound, that’s another 35 grams of carbs. Altogether, the fruit displayed there adds up to 93 grams. This is before we even start talking about the recommended 6-11 daily servings of intensively high-carb bread, cereal, rice, and pasta.
DietDoctor.com, a low-carb website, advises individuals trying to lose weight to “Avoid eating fruit” except as an occasional treat.
TOP TAKEAWAY: If “Fruit is Candy from Nature,” consuming it multiple times a day seems unwise.
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