Low-Carb Diet? 3 Sweet Reasons to Eat Fruit
Heard someone go on a rant about fruit high in sugar and calories? That's kind of a thing right now.
But which do you think is healthier? A candy bar, or an apple? A bottle of soda or a banana?
So what’s the beef with fruit? How much should you eat? Is fruit just another source of sugar and carbs? Or is fruit actually good for you?
First let’s set the record straight. Most people don’t eat enough fruit. Research shows that only 12 percent of adults eat the minimum recommended amount of fruit per day. In case you’re wondering, that’s 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit per day. And that means you’re probably not eating enough fruit, and it’s highly unlikely that you’re eating too much.
Here are three sweet reasons to eat more fruit:
1. Nutrient density
A half a candy bar has about the same amount of calories (about 100) as one banana. But the banana, or any other fruit for that matter, contains far more nutrients your body needs for best health than a candy bar.
Fruits contain a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients, along with fiber, potassium, folate, and antioxidants that promote health and prevent disease. You're not going to find that inscribed on the wrapper of a candy bar or bottle of soda.
2. Weight management
Need a little help with appetite control to help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight? Eat more fruit. Many fruits, like apples and raspberries, are high in fiber. Fiber can help you feel fuller longer and control appetite. It also takes longer to digest and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Keep in mind, fruit juice isn't the same as whole fruit.
3. Disease prevention
There are at least two reasons heart disease, diabetes, and obesity are among the leading chronic diseases in the U.S. Lack of exercise. And poor nutrition. But it doesn't have to be that way. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can dramatically improve your health.
For example, in the PREDIMED study, researchers found that people who followed the Mediterranean Diet (vegetables, FRUITS, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil) cut their risk for heart disease by 30 percent.
Eating more whole foods, including fruit, can improve your health and lower your risk for chronic disease.
If you're concerned about eating too many calories or carbs, keep track of what you eat, and adjust your diet as needed. And if you're pressed to make a choice, always choose the fruit over the candy bar.
Looking for lower-carb fruits? Try watermelon, canteloupe, berries and avocados.