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Can Fruit Make You Fat?

Fruit – it’s filled with vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and all of those good things your body needs. Recently, fruit has gotten somewhat of a bad rap because some people have complained that eating fruit has caused them to gain weight. Are these people just crazy or can fruit make you fat? The answer is… yes. Even though fruit is great for you, it can make you fat if you eat too much of it. It’s no different than any other food. If you consume too much of it, you’ll end up consuming too many calories. Certain fruits can also lead accelerated weight gain because they are high in glucose (sugar).

“Good Fruits" vs. “Bad Fruits"
No fruit is bad, but in terms of weight gain, there are better fruits to consume than others. Fruits that are high in sugar and calories include:
    •    Bananas 
    •    Grapes 
    •    Apples 
    •    Pears 
Fruits that are lower in fructose (sugar) include:
    •    Strawberries 
    •    Blueberries 
    •    Apricots

It’s really all about moderation. Dietary guidelines say that you need two servings per day. Anything over that can result in over consumption. Doctors even warn patients with high cholesterol to lay off the fruit because it can drive up triglycerides, which is a type of blood fat that is linked to heart disease and stroke. People with diabetes should also be careful about eating too much fruit because it can cause a major spike in insulin.

The reason fruit can make you fat has to do with calories and fructose. When you consume fruit, you are taking in sugar. Sugar causes your body’s glucose levels to rise, making it difficult to lose weight. This is the principle that has caused low carbohydrate diets to become so popular. Even though fruits are “good carbs" they are still carbs that contain sugar.

You’ll notice that low carb diets, such as South Beach, do include fruits but in moderation. By no means should you stop eating fruit, but there are some steps you can take to lessen the chances it will cause undue weight gain.

Eat Fruit Before and After Working Out
If you consume fruit before and after you work out your body will use the calories to refuel itself. That means the calories will be used by your body and won’t go straight to your stomach and hips.

Small Portions
Moderation is the key. Focus on eating one piece of fruit every other meal. That will help keep your caloric intake down and keep your glucose levels in check.

Mix with Protein
Eating fruit by itself causes your glucose levels to spike even more when you eat fruit by itself. The problem with this is high glucose levels make it impossible for your body to burn fat. Try eating a piece of fruit with some nuts or lean protein. This helps keep your glucose levels in check and will keep you feeling fuller longer. Eating fruit by itself causes the dreaded spike followed by immediate hunger.

Avoid Sugary Fruits
Try replacing the sugary fruits like bananas and grapes with blueberries and strawberries. They taste just as good and have less calories, less fructose, and more fiber.

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