If you’re like most of the people in the U.S., one of your goals for 2018 was to start eating healthier. Admittedly, it can be tough to go from a daily junk food habit to cold turkey overnight so what can you do? Look for healthier alternatives to satisfy that urge from a sweet tooth.
Fruit can be an ideal way to indulge in cravings for sweets without the added calories from processed sugar and trans-fats. It can be easy to believe that it delivers all the sweetness you crave and none of the downsides; but, is there such thing as too much?
First, let’s talk about why you should be eating it each day. From apples to oranges, there are a variety of benefits for your body and your mind.
Risk of Disease: Studies show that eating fruit - along with vegetables - might help to decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease. Consumption of whole produce – not juices – was also found to decrease the risk of developing diabetes.
Digestive Health: Eating it increases your daily dose of fiber. Studies show that getting your daily recommended amount of fiber can support weight loss, decrease cardiovascular risk factors, and improve digestion.
Mental Health: A recent study focused on the perceived mental response after eating fruit. Subjects reported higher levels of motivation and vitality after consuming an apple or orange, albeit for the short term.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU EAT TOO MUCH OF IT
Stomach Problems: The fiber in your favorite sweet treat may be able to help your digestion, but certain fruits can also cause stomach issues, especially when you eat too much of them. If you are eating high sugar ones without the fiber - such as when you peel an apple - then you may experience heartburn, bloating, or diarrhea. Some people lack a necessary enzyme to breakdown fructose (the sugar in it) and this can also cause these symptoms.
High Blood Sugar: Speaking of sugar: When you eat too much, you are putting yourself at risk for high blood sugar. This can increase your chances for developing diabetes or becoming overweight, as excessive fructose is stored as fat.
HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU EAT EACH DAY?
Most experts agree that you should be consuming 2 to 3 servings per day. Most importantly, this should be accompanied by vegetables as well. 3 to 6 servings of vegetables (especially dark, leafy greens) are recommended each day.
Try to avoid high sugar, low fiber options such as cherries or mangoes. Instead, opt for the most nutrient-packed options that have high fiber and low sugar, such as the following:
- Avocado: 1 gram of sugar, 10 grams of fiber per cup
- Raspberries: 5 grams of sugar, 8 grams of fiber per cup
- Strawberries: 8 grams of sugar, 4 grams of fiber, per cup
- Blackberries: 7 grams of sugar, 8 grams of fiber, per cup
- Cranberries: 4 grams of sugar, 5 grams of fiber, per cup
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITES?
Have you noticed a difference since you began eating more fruit? Are you not able to eat certain ones? If so, which ones? Tell us about it in the comments below!
Written by David Sautter
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.