Hello, Dr. Alvi here,
Let’s talk about fruit. As an Endocrinologist, I often get asked about it:
- Is it healthy?
- Does it have a lot of sugar?
- Can I eat any fruits, or stick to certain ones?
There is certainly a lot of misinformation out there, so it’s a topic that deserves the time to be discussed!
The answer to these common questions can be explained simply by looking at what fruit is providing nutritionally, alongside a deeper dive into the the evidence-based literature supporting how healthful fruit can be.
Fruits NATURALLY contain simple sugars such as fructose, glucose, and sucrose. Sugars commonly ADDED to a lot of foods are these exact simple sugars. Since these simple sugars are found in both foods, they are indeed the root of the confusion and misinformation.
Let’s talk about what the whole fruit provides: HEALTH PROMOTING Water, Fiber, Nutrients, Minerals, Antioxidants, and Phytonutrients. There are many studies to support the favorable outcomes of fruit on health. One large epidemiological study showed higher fruit consumption being associated with a lower risk of Diabetes.
Let’s talk about what added sugar provides: Essentially it provides Empty Calories. Sugar sweetened beverages in particular have been linked to Type 2 diabetes.
My take away is basically the same message when it comes to nutrition – to look at foods as a whole package and the benefits they can provide to optimize overall health.
I love all fruit, but mangos are my top favorite fruit. What are your favorite fruits?
- Du et al. Fresh fruit consumption in relation to incident diabetes and diabetic vascular complications: A 7-y prospective study of 0.5 million Chinese adults. PLOS med. 2017
- palmer et al. Sugar sweetened beverages and incidence of type 2 DM. Archives of Internal Medicine 2008.