Can Fruit Be Harmful for You?

Fruits are generally considered healthy. They are delicious, convenient, and easy to carry and prepare. But, are there instances where they can be bad for your health? Let us try to answer that.

Is “eating too much fruit” a thing?

As the old adage goes, “too much of anything is bad,” and this can apply to fruits too, right? When you eat whole fruit, it is quite difficult to eat too much. Fruits have high amounts of water and fiber, making them wonderfully filling, and you will easily feel full after eating just a few pieces.

Since they are so filling, eating large amounts of fruit in one sitting is extremely hard, let alone eating too much in one day. In the U.S., studies show that fewer than 1 in 10 people meet the minimum recommended amount of fruits every day, including fresh and processed fruits, such as canned fruits and aseptic purees.

There are also studies wherein people ate 20 servings of fruits each day for several months, and none of them experienced adverse effects. Researchers even found possible health benefits in eating lots of fruit.

What about for people with diabetes?

Some think fruits can be harmful due to the sugar content. Indeed, fruits tend to contain more sugar than other whole foods. So, is it possibly harmful for people with diabetes?

Actually, eating plenty of fruits is included in most dietary recommendations for them with diabetes. The recommended number of servings of fruit does not even change whether or not you have diabetes. Some patients still restrict the amount of fruit they eat because they are worried about the sugar content. However, studies show that sugar consumed in whole fruits barely affect blood sugar levels.

They may even help diabetic patients. Fruits that are high in fiber slow the digestion and absorption of sugar, which improves blood sugar control. It also reduces insulin resistance and prevent type 2 diabetes. Patients may also experience less oxidative stress and inflammation when they eat more fruits.

However, some fruits raise blood sugar a lot more than others. To pinpoint which foods or fruits they should limit, people with diabetes need to monitor their blood sugar levels after eating.

What if you are following a low-carb diet?

Low-carb diets range from consuming 100-150 grams of carbohydrates to below 50 grams per day.

A piece of fruit contains an average of 15-30 grams of carbs. The amount of fruit you consume daily should depend on how many grams of carbs your diet recommends. If you are on a ketogenic diet, for example, there may not be enough room to include fruits in your diet.

Berries are a good choice if you want to eat fruit despite your low-carb diet. They tend to have lower carbs than most fruits, especially blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

There are other foods, like vegetables, that generally contain less carbs and the same nutrients you get from fruits. If you are strictly restricting your carb intake, you may avoid fruits as long as you get essential nutrients from other sources.

Eating too much fruit does not damage your health, and even diabetic patients are encouraged to eat them. However, people on low-carb diets could benefit from limiting their fruit intake. 

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