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How Much Fruit is Too Much??

Nutritionist Ilene, I eat mostly fruit for my carbohydrates.   How much fruit is too much?

  • Whole fruit is a great source of nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, plus it might even satisfy your sweet tooth, all with relatively little calories. Fruit has simple sugar, fructose, which is metabolized in the liver to form triglycerides, as opposed to glucose, which is metabolized in the blood stream.
  • Concentrated fructose found mostly in juices, dried fruits and sugary drinks and syrups can raise blood sugars and triglyceride levels quickly, so consuming too much fructose is not healthy.
  • Whole grains, which are complex carbohydrates and part of a healthy, high fiber diet, contain mostly glucose.

Aim to consume 4 to 6 servings of whole fruit, and whole grains to meet the rest of your carbohydrate needs everyday, and avoid processed sugars all together.

  • The recommendation is to consume 4 to 6 servings of fruit per day, preferably from whole fruit. The rest of your carbohydrate needs should come from whole grains such as quinoa, oats, brown rice as well as a variety of beans.
  • One serving of fruit is equivalent to one piece of whole fruit, a half cup of fresh fruit, a half cup of juice, or a quarter cup of dried fruit.
  • 4 to 6 servings of fruit juice provides concentrated nutrients, which is better than sugary drinks. Juice has little or no fibrous peel which helps decrease blood sugar spikes.
  • If you really like juice, have it in the form of smoothies which contain other macronutrients and vegetables to slow the absorption rate of sugar.
  • So, aim to consume 4 to 6 servings of whole fruit, and whole grains to meet the rest of your carbohydrate needs every day, and avoid processed sugars all together.

Low sugar fruits:

  • Berries
  • Melon
  • Grapefruit

High sugar fruits

  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Raisins/grapes
  • Dried fruit
  • Juices

Concentrated fructose choices without fiber to avoid

  • Candy
  • Syrups
  • Sugary drinks like soda, sweet teas and flavored coffees.

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Have a nutrition related question? Contact Ilene Yalen, MSRD at yalen5@msn.com.

Ilene Yalen is the Registered Dietitian working with WellAmerica to help promote health and well being.

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