Sugar Phobia? 4 Reasons to Eat More Fruit

You don't have to look far to find someone touting the evils of added sugar. It's everywhere these days. Candy bars and soda are the obvious places. But added sugar ends up in cereal, ketchup, sauces, and now even peanut butter.

Do you swear off sugar in any form and avoid everything from sweet treats to fruit? Not so fast. Munching your way through a chocolate bar or gulping down the same isn't the same thing as eating an orange, when it comes to sugar.

If you're on an anti-sugar kick to lose weight, that's good. Foods that contain added sugar are part of the reason and estimated 70 percent of adults are overweight or obese in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you're eating a lot of sugar, and not exercising a lot, your body stores excess sugar as fat. Not what you want if you're trying to manage your weight and be healthy.

But sugar added to foods isn't the same as sugar that occurs naturally in fruits. In fact, if you want to be healthier, at least two servings of fruit per day should be part of your meal plan. Why? Here are a couple of reasons:

1. Fruits contain fiber

It's found in the peel of an apple, the meat in bananas, and many different types of berries. Fiber supports digestion, helps you feel fuller, aids in weight management, and even help regular blood sugar levels. You're just not going to get the same result by eating candy bars.

2. Fruit contains vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants

Fiber isn't the only difference between fruit and a sugary-supersized soda. Yes, fruits do contain a form of sugar, called fructose. But they're not loaded with empty calories like sweet treats. Instead, fruits also contain a long list of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that your body needs for best health.

3. Fruit can help prevent diabetes

Studies show that eating fruit can help prevent diabetes. That's significant, when an estimated 100 million adults in the United States have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's a manageable disease, but it can lead to poor circulation, blindness, organ damage, amputations, and early death. Do everything you can to prevent diabetes.

4. Eat fruit to control diabetes

If you're among the 29.1 million adults who already have diabetes, research shows that eating some fruit can help control diabetes, prevent vascular problems, and live longer.

Don't be afraid to eat fruit, even if it does contain sugar. It's a healthier option than candy, soda, and fast food.

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