Avoiding Sugar? Why You Can & Should Still All the Fruits & Veggies
I've been noticing a lot of people upping the protein and ditching the sugar to loose weight. Conventional diets tells us that this is the way to go. To a certain extent I agree. However, I begin to worry when my personal training clients begin to tell me that they are afraid to eat fruits and will even go to great lengths to avoid certain vegetables.
Its important to know the difference of naturally occurring sugar versus added sugar.
Fructose is found in fruit and in vegetables. It is naturally occurring. The difference when we eat sugar in fruit as opposed to it being added sugar is mostly fiber. Fructose in fruit/veggies is encased in fiber which affects how we process the sugar in our bodies. The fiber helps to slow down the absorption thus it doesn’t go directly to the liver unlike added sugar.
So why should we care about sugar going to the liver quickly? Well, there is no regulation process for the sugar so it rapidly gets turned into fat. This process is slowed down when the fructose is absorbed with the fiber of the fruit. Yayy fiber!
Thats why we absolutely endorse eating fruit but agree with the WHO that when this sugar is ‘removed’ from its natural casing, it has a very different effect (i.e. juices, concentrates, syrups etc..)
So if you are doing the latest and greatest diet such as keto its more than likely that they are trying to help you avoid eating an excess of fruits and sugars to avoid this liver dilemma. HOWEVER, Fruits and vegetables are part of a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle. Diets that are abundant in fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants that can reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases. Fruits and vegetables also provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for long sustainable health. Lets take a peek at some of my favorite fruits and vegetables that have a bad sugar rep.....
14 grams of sugar
Provides a whopping 450 grams of potassium! Eating bananas can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risks of cancer and even asthma. After running one of the best snacks to eat is a banana due to its high amounts of carbohydrates (a good source of energy). Bananas can help restore your carbohydrate balance after your run.
15 grams of sugar
Berries have more vitamin C than a medium orange. They're also an excellent source of fiber. Additionally, berries lower blood pressure and cholesterol, while reducing oxidative stress. Berries are low in calories and high in antioxidants! Antioxidants help fight cancer cells in our body.
19 grams of sugar
Apples are backed with phytonutrients and antioxidants help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Also, eating apples has benefits for your skin because of the high amount of B vitamins and vitamin C.
17 grams of sugar
Watermelon can provide hydration (hence the the name!) as well as help with muscle soreness, can lower inflammation, and is linked to improving heart health! This fruit also contains lycopene and amino acids, towards healthy skin, healthy scalp and aids with our immune systems.
15 grams of sugar
Grapes are great brain food! Consuming grapes preserved healthy metabolic activity in the regions of the brain are affected by Alzheimer's disease. Furthermore, the nutrients in grapes may help protect against cancer, eye problems, and cardiovascular disease. Grapes also provide flavonoid which is a nutrient that can help you maintain a healthy weight and it counts towards your daily hydration requirements.
6 grams of sugar
Despite its name sweet potatoes do not contain high amounts of sugar. Sweet Potatoes are a rich source of fiber and also contain a good array of vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, selenium. Surprisingly, sweet potatoes also contain high levels of vitamin C.
1 gram of sugar
Ok, Avocado is technically a fruit but it is extremely low on sugar! Avocados provide a boat load nutrients to help develop and maintain your body's cells, making it a great nutrient-dense food choice. The avocado is virtually the only fruit that contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol.
2 grams of sugar
Winter Squash is one of the world's healthiest foods! It provides vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber, manganese, copper, vitamin B2, B3, folate, pantothenic acid, vitamin K, potassium and magnesium. This mineral helps to boost bone strength and helps the body process fats and carbohydrates.
4 grams of sugar
Tomatoes provide fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and choline. Tomatoes are also the anti bloat cure! They have been found to reduce inflammation and water retention in the body, as well as reversing leptin resistance. Leptin is a protein which helps to regulate metabolic rate and appetite.
I'm not saying that all processed sugar is the devil. I believe in moderation. What I am saying and what I want to encourage is that its okay to eat fruit. Really! There are several amazing vitamins and minerals that you might be missing out on. With cancer and Alzheimer running around so rampantly these days its important that we eat these yummy fruits and veggies to give ourselves a fighting chance against these diseases. Lastly, this style of eating isn't sustainable. I don't think it is realistic to say that you will never taste an apple or banana ever again for the rest of your life because the scary sugar.
What are your favorite fruits and veggies?? Please feel free to chime in and leave a comment below!