To recap from yesterday:
We learned that insulin is produced when we eat carbs, and too much insulin makes us feel yucky (that’s a very technical term) and creates excess fat. Fruits can have lots of carbs, and thus too much fruit creates too much insulin and can make us feel yucky and fat.
But wait! Not all fruits are not created equal, so there is no need to despair yet. Different fruits have differing levels of sugar, carbs, fiber, and antioxidants, which make some fruits better for you than others. Judging fruits can get pretty technical with counting carbs and glycemic index/glycemic load numbers, but my brain still hurts from yesterday. So, moral of the story: some fruits you can eat more of, and some fruits you should treat as well…. a treat. The following is as practical a guide to fruits as I can make.
First, good fruits:
Who doesn’t love berries, really? Strawberries, blackberries, blue berries, raspberries, and all those other random berries that no one really knows about are low in carbs, but high in fiber and antioxidants. Cherries basically fit into this category well. If you have any of the same budget restrictions that we do, you may be thinking “Yeah, but they’re ridiculously expensive!” My advice: buy berries in bulk and freeze whatever you don’t think you can eat before they spoil. Frozen berries make great smoothies!
Apples are lower in sugar and have an average amount of fiber. However, apples + almond butter = heaven.
These fuzzy fruits are probably my absolute favorite of any on the list, good or otherwise. We tried grilling peaches last night (literally throwing them on the grill for about 4-5 minutes), and pairing them with whipped vanilla coconut cream and raspberries. SOOOOOOO GOOD. I might like grilled peaches better than brownies. However, stay away from their bald counterpart, the nectarine, which is higher in sugar ad lower in fiber.
Other notable mentions: grapefruit, figs, apricots, and plums.
Now to the fruits that require exercising a little restraint. You can certainly still eat these fruits and they have nutritional benefit, but consider eating them less frequently, pairing them with high fat foods like a nut butter, and/or doing something active to help use up the excess carbs.
Melons have a lot of water, but also have a lot of sugar. Watermelons are a great summer-time treat, but should stay just that- a treat.
Yay Vitamin C! Boo high sugar content. Grapefruits don’t count here; they have less sugar than oranges or tangerines and have less effect on your bloodsugar than apples. Using a few tablespoons of lemon or lime in a recipe is perfectly acceptable.
Mangoes, Papayas, and Pineapple
Same old story…. sugar is always the culprit. If you are looking for something to sweeten up a smoothie, a banana is a better choice, though still should be eaten in moderation, meaning don’t eat three bananas a day. (I could eat a banana for every meal of the day, so this one is tough!)
The jury is still out on grapes– but I will make it my mission to figure that out.
Tomorrow: Dried Fruits and Juice!