What you may have heard: Fruit is full of sugar and carbohydrates, so you should limit fruits. People with diabetes cannot have fruit.
What you are probably thinking: A nutritious food that tastes great and is healthy is too good to be true?
What the experts say: Proteins are made of amino acids. Fats are made up of fatty acids. Carbohydrates are made from sugars. Sugars are just carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen — all perfectly pronounceable and the same elements that are part of your body’s make up.
Carbohydrates are your first energy source. Yes, you read that right. You need to consume carbohydrates so your body can make energy (even when you are trying to lose weight). Fruits are considered carbohydrates and do contain sugars. However, the naturally occurring sugar in fruits, dairy, and whole grains is very different from the added sugars in sodas, sugar-sweetened beverages, candy, desserts, and other sweets.
In addition to sugar, fruits contain water, fiber, and many vitamins and minerals. This makes them an ideal choice to include in a healthy eating pattern.
What you need to know
What happens when you stop eating fruit?
You lose an optimal nutrient and energy source. Nutritious choices do not have to be boring or taste terrible. Fruits are vibrant, flavorful, and colorful. Including fruit in a well-balanced diet can reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
What if I have diabetes?
Fruits are a great option! Again, even though they are made up of sugars, they do not raise blood sugars the same way as sweets, desserts, and sugary beverages do. Adding these natural sweet treats to a well-balanced diet gives you a great amount of fiber and nutrients.
Which fruits can I have?
Any of them — even bananas! Including a variety of fruits allows you to have different nutrients. Eat fruit how you like it. The best fruit is the one you are going to eat. It is of no nutritional value if you do not eat it.
What not to do
You should not have a diet that is only fruit. Just like any food or food group, you want to eat well balanced. Eating several servings of fruit each day is a well-balanced and healthy approach.
Key takeaway: When choosing foods, remember to choose foods that are nutritious — and fruits are packed with nutrition.
For more variety or new ideas, find out which fruits and vegetables are in season.
Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Fiber. Retrieved April 2018 from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/.