When you want to improve your health and lose weight you may be wondering which are the best fruits to eat to achieve this. You have always heard that you should be eating your fruits and vegetables, but fruits and vegetables are completely different. For one, you should be consuming more vegetables (6-7 servings) than fruit (1 serving only). But why?
In this article I will be explaining that difference and giving you the information that you need to make the best choices for your health. I will also be discussing which are the best fruits to eat for both diabetes and weight loss.
The Difference Between Fruits and Vegetables
The difference goes beyond just which part of a plant they come from. Technically speaking vegetables are considered to be roots, stems, and leaves and fruits are considered to be the flowering part of the plant so to speak. Vegetables technically also do not have seeds.
But the difference nutritionally lies in what they have to offer. Here is a table showing the differences:
The Two Biggest Differences Between Fruits and Vegetables
1. The Sugar Content in Fruits are Higher
Because of the sugar content in fruits, which often exceeds 10 g per fruit, they very quickly become an unhealthy food. The aim when you want to control your diabetes is that you want to control your blood sugar levels. They should remain as stable as possible with no large spikes. But when you are eating high sugar foods, high spikes in your blood sugar levels is exactly what happens.
Fruit specifically contains a lot of fructose. Studies done on fructose have found that it is one of the worst sugars for your health. It increases insulin resistance which is bad for weight maintenance and even worse for diabetes. It can also increase blood pressure and inflammation in your body. Diabetes can be cured, but not consuming a lot of fruit. Read here to start curing your diabetes permanently and naturally today.
Fruit is far healthier than processed sugary foods, for example, white bread, sweets, and ice cream, but the fiber content will only help so much when there is so much sugar involved. This is why you should keep your fruit intake to only one serving a day. If you are trying to lose weight, keeping your blood sugar levels stable is also important. This will prevent cravings and hunger pangs.
If you have a sweet tooth, reading that you should lower your fruit intake can be hard. After all, being told that they are a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth for years and find out this is not the case can be disappointing. But there are healthier ways to do this and they are natural too. Find out about the benefits of stevia, a zero calorie sweetener which is perfectly safe for diabetics and those wanting to lose weight.
2. The Nutritional Content is Higher in Vegetables
The main thing that fruits have going for them is vitamin C content and antioxidants. But these are easily found in vegetables. Vegetables are more nutrient dense meaning that they are packed with nutrients instead of being empty calories. The calorie content is fairly low depending on the vegetables that you choose.
This means that you can eat more vegetables which results in feeling more satisfied, a nutrient boost, and all that without the extra sugar.
80% of your meals should be vegetables. Never eat fruit with your meals, always eat them as a snack or dessert rather.
Which Fruits to Always Buy Organic
The problem with food that isn’t grown organically is that they are full of pesticides, herbicides, and pollution which can have negative effects on your hormones and are considered to be carcinogenic. There have also negative effects during pregnancy. Every mother wants to give her unborn child the best start in life. Eating healthily is a major part of that.
But the fruits and vegetables you eat can be causing harm, however. The CHAMACOS Cohort Study found that some of the most common side effects of pesticide exposure are shorter pregnancies and lower IQ in children. Other effects include poor thyroid function and decreased fertility women.
Though it is possible for organic foods to contain pesticides too because they can be spread by the wind, they have far less and in strictly controlled environments, the exposure can even be zero. Choosing to go organic is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family.
These are some of the fruits on the EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) dirty dozen list which they publish every year. The full list includes many fruits and vegetables, so you may want to check it out. They also have a clean produce list which are the fruits and vegetables you do not necessarily need to buy organic. Similary, depending on where you live, you can look for similar organization publishing such a list.
These Are Some of the Top Fruits to Buy Organic:
Organic food can be expensive, so if you are not able to buy organic fresh produce be sure to thoroughly wash all your fruits and vegetables, and you may need to peel them too. This further strips the nutrition from your fruit because most of the fibre is in their skins. You can also stick to those on the clean list.
Another problem is that when your produce isn’t organic you may be eating GMO (genetically modified organisms). If you prefer not to eat GMO products, always buy organic.
When fruits are imported the transit time is long. The older your fruits are the less nutritious they become. There are also other issues like mould that can be caused and sometimes the fruit on the shelves and in the fridges have already started to rot from the inside but you just can’t see it.
Choose to buy local produce, preferably straight from the farm or at the farmers market. These will be the freshest fruits that you will find. We all are so busy in lives that people have now stop going to the farmer´s market.
As a mother and a wife who wants to provide healthy food to my family, going to the farmer´s market is my one of the top priorities. Not only this I have good relations with the farmers and I know exactly who is more ethical. I buy directly from the farmer pl they have so valuable tips sometimes regarding cooking and storing foods.
Best Time to Have Fruits
The evening is always the best time to eat your fruit and there are good reasons for this:
- Carbohydrates: I do not recommend eating carbs in the morning, especially diabetic people since keeping blood sugar levels stable throughout the day is so important. Fruits should be eaten in the evenings so that we do not have as much time left in the day to experience blood sugar spikes and drops.
- Do not eat with meals: Also, it’s advised not to have them with meals or immediately after the meals. Since the purpose of a good meal is that you do not have to think about food for the next 4 hours and eating fruits digest your meal so quickly that you will be looking for something to eat soon. If you want dessert, eating fruit a while after dinner is a good option.
- Blood pressure: In the mornings your blood pressure is at its lowest. In order to get it higher so that you can have enough energy, you should avoid potassium. Though there are vegetables that are rich in potassium there are more fruits that contain potassium, for example, kiwis and bananas. Potassium has a blood pressure lowering effect.
I start my day with Himalyan pink salt, warm water and lemon in the morning to give me that boost since sodium increases blood pressure. Sodium is crucial for your body to function properly, so season your food to taste, but remember to include potassium from mid-morning onwards to keep your blood pressure stable.
While dried fruits have been said to be fine to include in your “5 a day” the truth is that this processed form of fruit is mostly sugar. Manufacturers often add extra sugar despite the fact that there is more than enough sugar in these dried fruits already. They are also higher in calories than a fruit. Dried fruits are not a good choice for diabetics and those trying to lose weight at all.
This is the sugar content in some popular dried fruits courtesy of the USDA (US Department of Agriculture):
- Dried apricots: 15 g per 40 g serving
- Raisins: 25.45 g per 43 g serving
- Dried peaches: 16.70 g per 40 g serving
- Dried pears: 27.99 g per 45 g serving
- Dried apples: 22.86 per 40 g serving
The apricots, peaches and pears sugar contents were taken from the “no added sugar” options so you can clearly see how high they are in sugar. No one with an interest in their health should be considering eating dried fruit as their serving of fruit per day.
People argue that they are rich in fibre, they still contain antioxidants and are easy to take with you especially if you do not have access to a fridge. This is true. But it is also true that they are often found to be full of mould. Mycotoxins are a common type of mould found on dried fruit which can cause horrible allergic reactions.
Mould is not just on the outside of the fruit. The inside of your fruit will also have mould so you can’t just cut or scrape it off. If you are going to eat dried fruit, be very careful about the brands you choose and where they come from. Not everyone cares about how they store their products or how they have been treated before getting to the store.
Avocados and Why They Are the Best Fruits to Eat
Avocados are delicious and very healthy. They add that creamy flavour to your smoothies and are great in salads and dips and you can even make healthy desserts out of them. For the most health benefits, go for haas avocados. Always eat them raw to preserve their nutrients.
The Health Benefits of Avocados:
- They do not contain any fructose: Their total sugar content is less than a gram. This means they are one of the best fruits for diabetics to eat.
- They are full of healthy fats: Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat (MUFA) which is heart healthy. MUFAs help to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol and even your triglycerides (fat in your blood). It also keeps you fuller for longer. Full-fat foods can also help you to lose weight, click here to find out more and never feel hungry after eating again.
- High in fibre, low in carbs: Avocados provide much-needed fibre which is not only filling but helps to control blood sugar levels better which is crucial for diabetics. Avocados are also perfect for those who are on a ketogenic (low carb, high fat) diet.
- High in potassium: 1 Avocado has 975 mg of potassium. The RDA for potassium is 4700 mg per day. Most people are deficient in potassium which is necessary for many things including regulating your heartbeat.
- Other nutrients: Avocados are also a good source of vitamins A, C, E, K and folate. These nutrients are great for skin and heart health and folate ensures that your baby develops healthily during pregnancy. Vitamin C is also beneficial for diabetics because it’s essential for healing the skin.
Fruit juice does retain some of the nutrient content of whole fruits but is by far the less healthy choice. Commercial fruit juices are often packed with sugar, not just the sugar present in the fruit itself, but added sugar.
The fibre is also removed from the juice. It is fibre in the fruit that will slow the blood sugar spike but if we remove the fibre we are left with just a glass of sugar and very few nutrients. I do not drink fruit juice at all. But, I do drink a vegetable juice smoothie twice a week.
I add a slice of fruit for flavour because drinking vegetable juice by itself can be hard. Drinking juice, especially green juices, have so many health benefits from alkalising your body to reducing inflammation. Find out more about juicing for health and weight loss here.
Caution When Choosing Berries
Berries are also on the list of the top fruits to eat because they are very rich in antioxidants. Berries fight cancer, heart disease, inflammation and do not spike your blood sugar levels as much as other fruits. All this while being low in calories.
Berries on Sale
Since they are expensive, do not try to save some pennies by buying berries on sale. They are on sale because the mould has started from inside and maybe you just can’t see it. The best thing to do is buy frozen berries. Despite people’s concerns about frozen produce, frozen fruits and vegetables are often more nutritious.
This is because they are frozen before being transported. They are often fresher than fresh fruits and vegetables in the stores. They also last longer. With expensive fruits like berries, this is great. You do not have to worry about them going off and wasting your money and you keep all the benefits that make them a super food.
Remember – It is always better to have a slice of fruit rather than the processed food.
You may have read that bananas are high in fructose and cause weight gain, but that does not mean that next time when you reach for a snack in the kitchen, you should opt for a chocolate bar or that packet of chips and leave the banana side. Bananas being natural food is still better than the processed food like cookies and cakes.
Choose Fruits as Desserts, Flavours or to Relieve Constipation
- Fruits as a dessert: An occasional dessert is nice, especially when you are out with friends and family. You can have some fruit as a dessert separate from your meals.
- Flavours in self-made smoothies: As I mentioned, I put a slice of fruit into my smoothies and juices. A slice of fruit in your water can also help if you struggle to drink plain water. Just do not flavour all your water with fruit. Constantly drinking all the water you need like this can cause problems with your teeth.
- Constipation: Guava, apples, pears, prunes and berries all help with constipation. Guava and berries are the lower sugar option on this list.
Whenever you are eating fruit, pre-think what healthy you going to eat afterwards because you are going to get hungry very soon. This might not be the case with everyone because we are all different. I find that pairing my fruit with fats helps a lot. Peanut butter and apples, for example, are a great combination. Test for yourself how you feel. But eating fruit alone is not the best way to lose weight, in fact, it can be dangerous. Read this to see why.
If a fruit is little brown, it means that it’s gone mouldy, avoid that fruit and throw it away.
- You should only eat 1 serving of fruit a day
- Fruit is high in fructose which increases insulin resistance
- The best fruits for diabetics and those wanting to lose weight are avocados and berries
- The worst things you can eat as a diabetic is dried fruit and drinking fruit juice
- Fruits to always buy organic include strawberries, peaches and cherries
- Fruit can be eaten as a dessert, to add flavour to smoothies and to relieve constipation
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