bite my words

Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Is fruit too sweet a treat?

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Myth 29: Fruit has too much sugar to be healthy.
What Dietitians of Canada says:
“Fruit is a healthy choice. It’s true that fruit has naturally occurring sugar, but it is also chock full of vitamins, minerals and fibre that are important for good health. Choosing more vegetables and fruit, naturally sweetened by Mother Nature, can help you maintain your weight and reduce your risk of developing chronic disease. Enjoy whole, fresh, frozen or canned fruit each day. And aim to limit foods that are high in added sugars but low in nutrients, such as candies, cookies, chocolate treats and sweetened soft drinks. Satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit, like a baked apple or yogurt topped with berries.”
What I say:
I love how we offer ridiculous advice like snacking on an apple when you’re craving a cookie. I mean really, how many people find that this satisfies their sweet tooth? I know that if I’m craving chocolate, a piece of fruit is not going to cut it as a substitute. I think a better idea might be to have that piece of fruit and then allow yourself a small amount of what you’re really craving. That way you’ll be properly satisfied and getting some nutrients instead of eating that fruit, continuing to obsess about cookies and then eating considerably more than you would have if you’d allowed yourself just one in the first place. Anyway… Beside the fact that we dietitians sometimes dish out advice as if we’re completely virtuous eaters, there’s nothing all that wrong with DC’s myth bust. I would add that you should consume your fruit whole, rather than in juice form. You’ll be getting more fibre and less of a shot of sugar this way. Think of juice as an occasional treat or a medication for someone experiencing hypoglycemia, not as a regular way to get your fruit and vegetables in you. I also don’t think that fruit and vegetables should be lumped together on Canada’s Food Guide. You should be consuming more vegetables than fruit. I would suggest two servings of fruit a day, for an adult, and the rest as vegetables.

Author: diana chard

I'm a registered dietitian living in Nova Scotia, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

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