Can you eat too much fruit?
If you have pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes you may have been told to limit your fruit consumption, maybe not the best advice. We know that people who eat more fruit and vegetables are healthier than people who don’t eat unprocessed fruits and vegetables. But, is it the vegetables or the fruit? What about the sugar in fruit?
All the science says that sugar in fruit, just like carbohydrates in real food is not the same as processed sugars. Now there is more proof that this is true.
A new 7-year study of 500,000 adults looked at the risks of developing diabetes and complications of diabetes when people ate fruit.
People often mistakenly believe that fruit consumption should be limited when they have been diagnosed with diabetes.
People without diabetes who ate fruit daily had a 12% lower risk of developing diabetes than the people who did not eat fruit.
People already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes that ate fresh fruit at least 3 days per week had almost 20% lower risk of death from any cause AND 13-28% lower risk of developing complications from diabetes. Complications that included heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, neuropathy and eye diseases regularly associated with diabetes.
This is the first large-scale study to show the relationship between regular fruit consumption and the decrease in diabetes cases and complications.
It is, however, not the first study to show the benefits of eating fresh fruit regularly. Eating high potassium foods, found in fruits and vegetables like bananas and avocados reduces blood pressure. Just on a selfish note, coffee has potassium too! Not only will reducing your sodium intake reduce your blood pressure but increasing your potassium intake will also help control blood pressure.
In another small study participants were eating 20 servings of fruit a day. That is a lot of fruit. Which was the point, to see how much fruit is too much. They ate 200 grams of naturally occurring fructose daily. That is 800 calories of sugar daily. The side effects? A 38 point drop in LDL (bad) cholesterol. They also ate 44 servings of vegetables per day. No one gained weight or increased their insulin levels or blood pressure. If fruits and vegetables were remotely bad for us, this level of intake would have had some detrimental effects, but there weren’t any unless of course, you include the fact that they had the largest bowel movements recorded of any dietary intervention.
My conclusion? Eat your fruit and vegetables. They are one of the few things in life where a little is good, but more is better.
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