How Much Fruit Per Day Is Healthy
The fruit is healthy. That is always said. But how much fruit per day is healthy? And nowadays you also hear messages that claim the contrary. We all know that fruit contains many vitamins, but there are those who point out that the sugar in fruit can be unhealthy for us. Fruit contains fructose, which causes your blood sugar to fluctuate.
Because many people consciously opt for a healthy diet, it can be worthwhile to check whether fruit fits in your diet. Is fruit sugar just as bad as regular sugar and how much can you consume? The information you find on the internet can be confusing. Here I list the pros and cons of fruit for you.
The health benefits of fruit
There are many types of fruits, and all of them have different health benefits. Some are rich in vitamin C, others in the minerals you need. The fruit is so healthy because our body cannot produce all the vitamins itself, which you get from your diet.
Fruit contains the following healthy micronutrients:
- Vitamins: Natural vitamin C, but also, for example, A, B, or E. Vitamins are needed to maintain your resistance, for healthy bones, muscles, and nerves. They play a role in your digestion and in keeping your cells healthy. Pineapple, kiwi, and oranges contain a lot of vitamin C, apples contain B vitamins.
- Minerals: These are important for building and maintaining your bones, keeping your muscles and nerves working properly, keeping your blood pressure and hormones in balance. For example magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and manganese. Blueberries are rich in magnesium; strawberries are high in phosphorus and potassium.
- Fiber: There are soluble and insoluble fibers. They make you feel full, help with smooth digestion and keep HDL and LDL cholesterol in balance. If you are looking for fruit that contains a lot of fiber, choose mangoes or blackberries.
- Antioxidants: These substances play an important role in your body to keep it healthy. They counteract the influence of free radicals, which can damage your cells and contribute to the aging of your heart and blood vessels. Fruits that are high in antioxidants include watermelon, oranges, red grapes, and papaya.
In addition, eating fruit helps to reduce the risk of diabetes and the chance that you will develop cancer. So these are not the slightest advantages. Nevertheless, is it necessary to hold back when eating fruit?
How Much Fruit Per Day Is Healthy?
For years, the motto has been to eat two pieces of fruit, about 200 grams per day. Health organizations such as WHO are still concerned about the fact that people eat too little fruit and vegetables. It does not matter which type you eat, because all types are healthy.
The WHO still recommends eating two pieces of fruit. These are for example an apple and a banana, a bowl of raspberries and two tangerines, or a piece of melon and a handful of grapes.
Although fruit is healthy, people sometimes doubt whether we are not getting too much sugar with it. Sugar (and also fruit sugar) affects your blood sugar, at least people are afraid of that. When you eat something with sugar, your blood sugar level rises, after which your body produces insulin. This ensures that your blood sugar level drops again. These fluctuations create more tasty appetites, a dip in your energy, and a feeling of restlessness.
The question now is whether sugar in fruit actually has the same effect on the body as regular sugar. A number of studies show that the fructose from fruit does not have as much of an impact on your blood sugar as many people think. This is because fruits are also rich in fiber and contain a lot of moisture. This makes the sugars less quickly absorbed into your blood.
The fact that you have to chew fruit also has a positive influence. Chewing keeps the fruit in your mouth longer and slows the absorption of sugar as well. Of course, this only applies to hard fruit.
Eat some fruit every day
So it is certainly advisable to eat 200 grams of fruit per day, often, even more, is recommended. If you still want to keep an eye on the amount of sugars, you can take into account how much fructose a piece of fruit contains and choose those types that contain less. These are, for example, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and nectarines.
In the USA, we don’t even get to these 200 grams yet. Most people are unable to eat two pieces of fruit every day. If you still want to try to eat a little more, add fresh fruit to your yogurt take it as a snack instead of cake or candy or eat a salad with fruit for lunch. You can even put fruit on bread, such as strawberries or blueberries.
Can you eat fruit when you want to lose weight?
The next question is whether it is wise to eat fruit if you want to lose weight. Not only is it healthy to keep eating fruit, but it can actually help you lose weight.
The advantage of fruit is that it contains a lot of moisture and fiber. After eating one or two pieces of fruit, you will feel well satisfied. The fibers digest slowly, which keeps this feeling for a long time. This prevents you from quickly getting hungry and eating more. Research has shown that it helps you to ultimately eat less bad snacks.
If you want to eat fruit while losing weight, it is best to choose firm fruits, such as apples or pears, which are the best filling. Citrus fruits are also a good choice for that reason.
Fruit and the low-carbohydrate diet
People who eat low-carbohydrates think that it is not part of the diet to eat fruit. In any case, they handle it carefully. The sugars in fruits are carbohydrates and these are limited when you eat low carbohydrates. It depends on the amount of carbohydrates you want to eat per day, whether there is room for eating fruit.
Fruit within the keto diet
A strict low-carbohydrate diet, or a keto diet, means that you get all your energy from fats and proteins. You then eat less than 50 grams of carbohydrates in a day. Considering that a piece of fruit can contain between 10 and 30 grams of sugar, people who eat this way will soon drop the fruit.
Within this diet, you can choose those fruits that have only a low fructose content. Strawberries are ideal for this. They contain only 6 grams of fruit sugar per 100 grams and you can eat them per piece. This is also possible with blueberries and blackberries. This way you can still eat some fruit and get the health benefits without having to deviate from your diet.
You can also eat low-carb, where you can eat more carbohydrates in a day. Then you get between 50 and 100 grams per day. So there is a little more room to eat fruit. If you are concerned about taking in too many carbohydrates, as you read above, try to opt for fruits with little fruit sugar as often as possible.
Since fruit is very healthy, even if you are on a low-carbohydrate diet, it is wise not to eliminate it completely from your diet. It provides you with many important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which you cannot easily get from eating vegetables alone. In particular, opt for fresh, seasonal fruit.
The pitfalls of pressed fruit
By drinking a glass of freshly squeezed juice, you get a lot of fruit in one go. That will be very healthy, you would think! Fresh fruit juices are also healthy, but there are some caveats to make.
- Too much fruit sugar at one time
You can finish a glass of juice in a matter of seconds. It’s nice and refreshing and sweet, so it will drink. However, a glass of juice contains many pieces of fruit. Normally you wouldn’t eat that much at once and secondly, it would take you a lot longer to eat it. Then you have to chew and that takes more time.
You have squeezed or blended the fruit in your juice. This destroyed all fibers. As mentioned, fiber was an important reason that sugars were less quickly absorbed by the body. Now they can no longer fulfill this function and that means that drinking juice has a different effect than when you eat fresh fruit.
By drinking fruit juice, a large amount of fruit sugar ends up in the stomach in a short time. This does raise your blood sugar, giving you those annoying fluctuations and the associated problems.
- You do not feel that you are full
Another disadvantage of the speed at which you drink it is that you don’t give your stomach time to indicate that it is full. It always takes about twenty minutes for the stomach to signal that there is enough in it. A fruit juice is very filling, but you will not notice that because you have already empty the glass before you feel it. So you drink more than you need.
- You don’t have to chew
Chewing fruit aids in digestion. If you hold it in your mouth a little longer and chew it, it will mix well with saliva. Saliva contains enzymes that pre-convert food. This helps the stomach and intestines to do their job properly.
The fruit juice that you drink in a short time hardly gets the chance to be mixed with saliva. It enters the stomach directly and from there into the small intestine. This can be much more difficult to digest. This could be the reason that after drinking fruit juice you get bloated or even stomach pain. There is no need to avoid fresh juices altogether from now on. Try to drink them more slowly and hold each sip in your mouth for a moment before swallowing.
These drawbacks can also apply to smoothies. There are healthy smoothies, most of which consist of vegetables. But many people make smoothies from a lot of fruit and only a little bit of vegetables. With that too you get too much sugar in one go, you drink too quickly and you don’t feel it when you are full. You can solve this by making your smoothies with more vegetables (about 70% vegetables and 30% fruit) and eating them with a spoon.