Is fruit your friend or foe when it comes to getting a handle on your health?
Let’s talk about the fruit conundrum (should you or shouldn’t you) and is there a best way to eat it?
The conundrum: It’s gotten a bad reputation because when we talk about sugars, we now look at all sugars – white sugar, brown sugar, honey, high fructose corn syrup. And of course, most fruit comes with their juiciness along with their own sweetness.
First, almost all food that you eat will raise your blood sugar level. And the intensity in that spike is going to be dependent on a lot of things but mainly it comes down to “good” = natural occuring sugars and “bad” = refined, industrial.
The more refined the sugar the more intense the sugar spike will be. And fruit sugars are in the most natural complete form when eaten whole and raw. So, as all of us can guess, fruits don’t offer the body an intense sugar experience (over-flood of dopamine) like other foods with refined sugar (that leads to an overdesire of sugar).
So then, do you eat fruit? Yes. Because when omitting a food group out of your diet because of one of its components, the big and better picture is completely missed1. There are so many micronutrients (=vitamins, minerals, fiber) that are easily available to you in the form of fruit. And these contribute to your overall health on a bigger scale.
The other part of it is – how should you eat it? There’s a lot of information about eating fruit on an empty stomach and such (causing fermentation, etc.). And there’s no scientific evidence to indicate that eating fruit alone is the best option.
But I eat fruit alone (not combined with other food) and on an empty stomach. Why? Because our bodies haven’t evolved to catch up to how much our food has changed, our digestive organs still function closer to hunter gathering times than to modern times.
And food today is a lot more complex – it’s mixed with something else, it’s got other additives or it’s been processed so only a part of the food is eaten instead of the whole. On the contrary, our body today is still quite simple.
Think about how fruit used to be available to humans: it was plucked from a nearby tree or bush and consumed immediately. It wasn’t combined with other stuff and it was eaten whole (not as jams or pastry filings).
For easing digestion (=less work for digestive organs) and basically getting it out of the way in my day, my first food of the day is 2 servings of fruit (whole and raw). I wait 30 minutes for it to digest and then have the other components of my breakfast.
No, there’s no science behind eating fruit alone. Not because it isn’t best for digestion but because they haven’t found an effective way to measure exactly what happens in the body. The only science you’ll need when it comes to your body is to see how you feel when you simplify what and how you eat.
And well, eating fruit is an easy place to start simplifying. Kind of like that low hanging fruit.
1Fruits may need to be omitted out of diet for health considerations. This is in no way replaces health advice from a medical health professional. Please consult one when it comes to dietary changes.