05 Jan Does Fruit Make You Fat?
Does Fruit Make You Fat?
This topic makes me mad and in the first paragraph or two I am going to tell you why. So, bare with me while I rant a little and I promise you I will get into the content of this article and answer the question I posed in the title.
Marketers, food companies, branding agencies and product developers all love to demonise what we consume and do so they can then sell you their packaged product or program that sells you the dream to success.
It happens all over the place and we have all fallen victim to it in some way shape or form.
Whether it’s a “business guru” standing in front of a Ferrari (which they most likely hired and don’t actually own) telling you they have the secret to instant wealth and success, or a guy with ripped abs selling his bullshit ab crunch machine as a way to a 6 pack. We all love to buy into this dream and short cut and these companies and products love to prey on these insecurities to sell us their stuff.
With our waist lines getting bigger, and our nation getting unhealthier, the weight loss and supplement industry has exploded over the past few decades. They tell us and sell us all kinds of ideas and products to try and convince us that one food item or a certain behavior is the reason we have all gotten fat.
And let’s stop beating around the bush being politically correct, we are FAT! Not big boned, we don’t have slow metabolisms, and we don’t have some rare genetic disease that doesn’t allow us to lose weight.
We are FAT and we love to EAT!
Rant over and now to the article you came to read.
Let’s take a little look at fruit and why it has been getting a bad rap of late and try to answer the question;
Does Fruit Make You Fat?
Let’s start by describing what is in fruit that is causing people to believe it is making us fat.
Fructose is the major carbohydrate that is present in fruit. Fructose ingestion has been linked to an increase in insulin resistance, elevated blood cholesterol and an increase in fat gain, especially around the abdominal area. Fructose also lowers the amount of insulin that our body releases when we eat food. It in turn lowers the level of circulating hormone leptin and increases the circulating levels of the hormone ghrelin. Leptin is responsible for making us feel full, while ghrelin makes us hungry. This scenario has been linked to the excess consumption of calories, which can in turn cause us to gain fat.
There have also been several studies that show an association between beverages that contain fructose or high fructose corn syrup (soft drinks in particular) and weight gain.
It must be noted that fruit contains very little fructose when compared to these beverages and yet it is still given the same bad rap. When you look to compare a can of coke and an apple, the apple has 13 grams of fructose and 90 calories where as the bottle of coke has around 30 grams of fructose and in excess of 250 calories.
So with all of that said, DOES FRUIT MAKE YOU FAT!?!?
Excess calories over a long period of time are what will cause you to gain weight. If you eat more calories than your body burns then you will gain weight and it doesn’t matter where those calories come from.
So in short, YES fruit will make you fat BUT ONLY like anything else you eat to excess. A medium sized banana has around 100 calories and the average male should consume around 1800 calories per day. If Bob were to eat 20 bananas in a day and therefore be consuming 2000 calories (here I was thinking that maths was a waste of time), then Bob will put on weight. This is no different to Bob eating 5 cheeseburgers from McDonalds, which contain 390 calories each totaling 1950 calories.
Now, I am not suggesting for 1 second that the cheeseburgers are a healthier option than the bananas however, health and weight are two VERY different parameters and we should not get the two mixed up.
Weight is VERY simple to talk about and is just a maths equation of in and out, whereas health is a whole other beast and involves a huge amount of varied measures to determine.
So in summary, NOTHING in and of itself is “good” or “bad” for you, just like there is nothing that will make you gain weight or lose weight for that matter on its own. Fruit is PACKED with nutrients, fibre, has high water content and is a great source of carbohydrates in any diet. I always recommend my online and personal clients to include fruit in their diets and would never suggest that elimination of fruits would benefit them in anyway, shape or form.
If you like your fruit and have been nervous to incorporate it into your diet because your sister told you, that she had heard from her best friend, who has a dog walker, who knows a guy that he has coffee with each week, and it was that guy that said someone at the grocery store, told him that he shouldn’t be eating the bananas he had bought because fruit was bad for you… Then I am here to put your mind at ease and tell you, please ignore these opinions and go right ahead and enjoy your fruit, knowing that you would do well to incorporate it into your everyday food plan.
Below I have listed some low calorie fruit options should you be trying to lose weight as well as some higher calorie fruits that can be great when trying to bulk up or put on some lean muscle mass.
Low Calorie Fruits
- Cranberries (45 Calories per serving, around a cup)
- Apricots (50 Calories per 100 grams)
- Grapefruit (42 Calories per 100 grams)
- Peaches (39 Calories per 100 grams)
- Strawberries (50 Calories per 100 grams)
High Calorie Fruits
- Medium Banana (100 Calories per banana)
- Grapes (114 Calories per serving (around a cup)
- Medium Mango (156 Calories per mango)
- Medium Pear (102 Calores per pear)
- Avocado (160 Calories per 100 grams)
I hope you have found this article helpful and welcome your thoughts so please leave a comment, as I would be happy to answer any questions or comments you have.
If you know someone who could benefit from the information in this article, please share it with him or her.