Hey folks! It’s been a while since I’ve written here. Right now I’m in the middle of hosting a sugar cleanse with over 150 people! How awesome! One of the questions that keeps coming up is, can I eat fruit? So, I thought I’d share my thoughts with all of you.
Fruit is high in fiber, which keeps the sugar in it from being absorbed into your system as quickly. That means you don’t end up with that crazy sugar high and crash that I’m sure we are all familiar with. Fruit also has tons of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. But, that doesn’t mean all its forms are equally awesome or that fruit is good for everyone.
Dried fruit is delicious, but it’s good to be mindful when eating dried fruit. Many dried fruits are coated with sugar. It’s always important to read your nutrition labels and ingredients, especially when buying “healthy” packaged foods. Additionally, since dried fruit is dehydrated, one cup of dried fruit will have way more sugar than one cup of the same fruit in its original form.
Fruit juice is awesome, it’s also super sweet! And, fruit juice has very little to none of the great fiber that comes along with eating fruit (Did you know that adults should be getting at least 25 grams of fiber per day?). One serving of fruit juice often has as much sugar (or more) as soda. I’m not saying you should drink soda (really… I promise), but it’s just important to keep in mind that fruit juice does contain a ton of sugar. When buying juice, also keep in mind serving sizes. An Odwalla drink or similar type of smoothie usually contains 2 servings, with upwards of 25 grams of sugar per serving. That’s over 12 teaspoons of sugar per bottle.
So, what do you do?
There are tons of sweeteners out there to choose from, from aspartame, to maple syrup, to high fructose corn syrup. Some are “sugar free” or “calorie free”, some are unrefined, some have valuable nutrients, and some are just empty calories. So, what do you do? It really depends on what your diet looks like now and why you are looking to remove sugar from your diet.
I don’t eat sugar because all sugar feeds yeast, something I am quite susceptible to. If you’re in the same boat as me, then you might want to look at removing processed sugar, fruit, and simple carbs from your diet. I also avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame because I try to refrain from putting chemicals of any sort or anything artificial in or on my body.
If you’re new to healthy eating (which I define as eating whole, unprocessed foods and lots of veggies), then eating fruit is likely a very important part of your process. Whenever you’re making changes, you want to do it slowly and sustainably. Otherwise you end up on another yo-yo diet and beating yourself up for not sticking to it.
So, the good news is that you get to decide. What changes are you comfortable making? And remember, you can always try something for a few weeks and see how you feel, and then make a decision if you want to keep on that path. You know your body better than anyone else, and changing things up in your diet is a great way to learn even more about your body and what makes you feel good. I’d love to hear what you’re doing and how it’s going. Feel free to post in the comments section or send me an email!