Is fruit fattening?
If you're trying to lose weight or be healthy, do you need to avoid or limit your fruit intake? How many pieces should you be having?
You will have heard it before: "Fruit is fattening", "Fruit is full of sugar", "You shouldn't eat too much fruit or you'll gain weight". I used to avoid fruit because I thought it has too much sugar and was making me fat. But is fruit actually fattening?
The short and long answer is NO. Fruit is not fattening at all.
In the health world, there is this annoying habit of blaming weight problems on healthy foods like fruit, dairy foods, whole grains, nuts, avocado etc. But, 'everyday' whole foods are not the problem! It's a red herring. You shouldn't believe everything you read.
To be honest? The problem is that we generally eat too much treat food like chocolate, cake, pies and soft drink.
If you are trying to lose weight, becoming mindful of how much 'treat food' you eat is way, way, way more useful, effective than to count your pieces of fruit.
Fruit has been around forever and for thousands of years, people didn't get fat from fruit. If anything, we are probably eating less fruit than people used to eat but way more processed high-energy junk food. And that's the real problem.
Taking fruit off limits and making it 'bad' for you is a recipe for disaster.
Why? Because it makes you fear a perfectly healthy food. So when you get sweet cravings, you're less likely to turn to a piece of fruit (which is ideal) but rather, keep snooping around for something else that is 'healthier' (like a bliss ball - which is certainly NOT healthier than a piece of fruit).
Things to know about fruit:
Fruit is naturally low in calories. (And because of the fibre, your body absorbs fewer calories than you would if you ate a fibre-less item with same amount of calories!)
ALL fruits are good for you. There are no BAD fruits. Some fruits are naturally higher in sugar than others.
While fruit does have sugar (called fructose), it is a naturally slow burning sugar and reacts differently in your body when packaged in a whole piece of fruit. Where sugar comes from matters.
Fruit is fibre and antioxidant-rich.
You don't binge on fruit!
Fruit is whole food.
Fruit can give you a healthy glow.
Fruit is delicious and satiating.
Seasonal fruit is an affordable superfood. Click here for more budget-friendly health tips!
Fruit consumption is linked with lower risk of disease.
When 50% of Aussie's aren't meeting the very basic recommendation to eat 1-2 pieces of fruit each day, our problem is not that we eat too much fruit, it's that we don't eat enough.
Let's stop demonising a perfectly healthy food. It's damaging to our relationship with food and making healthy eating feel complicated and restrictive.
Want to lose weight still? Do it the healthy way. Don't cut out fruit! Make sure you're hitting the recommended serves of fruit (2) and vegetables per day (aim for at least 7!) If you fill up on all the good stuff, you may not have room for the junk.
What is the Healthiest Way to Eat Fruit?
Unlike what Instagram makes you think, fruit doesn't have to be fancy, expensive or exotic to be good for you. You don't need to buy punnets of Blueberries, Acai berries, Goji berries and other trendy berries to get an antioxidant boost. Just eat a whole piece of fruit.
- Eat fruit whole -
Munching on a whole piece of fruit, with the skin on, is about as healthy as it gets. It's way healthier than any 'health food' snack or protein ball. And at around $1 a pop, it's a damn cheap and easy way to get healthy. So, when you're hungry for a snack or craving something sweet - bite into an apple, pick up a juicy mandarin, enjoy a punnet of strawberries or eat a banana. Click here for more budget-friendly health tips!
- Eat fruit that is in season -
It's cheaper, tastier and healthier. Look for the discounted fruit that was grown in your country. Read why I think seasonal eating is the bomb and find out some my tips for always knowing what to buy at the shops.
- All fruits are good fruits -
Also, there are NO unhealthy fruits. Don't avoid bananas because you think they have too many carbs. Don't only pick berries because they are lower in sugar. Each fruit has value. Do not discriminate against fruit ;) Anyone who tells you that fruit is unhealthy doesn't know what they are talking about.
-Try new/different fruits -
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away?" Yes but its actually best to eat a variety of different fruit by trying new fruits throughout the year. Variety ensures you get a mix of nutrients instead of the same nutrients day-in and day-out. It's more like 'a piece of fruit a day keeps the doctor away". Each time you go to the shops, get a different fruit.
Image via The Nude Nutritionist Instagram.
Is Fruit Juice Healthy?
Have you ever juiced your own orange juice? If you have, you'll know that it takes at least six oranges to make a serve of fruit juice! Now, when would you ever sit down to eat six oranges? Pretty much never, right...
It's common sense to know that eating six oranges at one time isn't the best choice. Even still, eating the six oranges instead of juicing them would be even better for you because real, fresh fruit has way more fibre than juice. Fibre not only keeps you regular, it helps you feel full and also prevents against diseases.
So, when I talk about fruit - I'm not talking about fruit juice. Fruit juice is different. I think fruit juice is a nice occasional or 'sometimes' food.
Look how many oranges went into this cup 250ml of orange juice.
Image via The Nude Nutritionist Instagram.
Is Dried Fruit Healthy?
One of the things that makes fruit filling is that it's made up of loads of water. When you dehydrate or dry out fruit, it shrinks. And because it's smaller in size, you'll want to eat more to fill up. So you need more dried fruit - and it's more dense in sugar.
But does that mean you should avoid dried fruit? No way.
Just be mindful of dried fruit. Opt for no added sugar varieties. Grabbing a family-size bag of dried fruit and snacking on it from your desk isn't a good plan (You shouldn't eat in front of a screen or at your desk, anyway).
When you have dried fruit, have a handful and then eat it mindfully and slowly. If it didn't satisfy, then next time reach for a whole piece of fruit instead. If you're hungry, then eat substantial, non-snack food like a sandwich...
MORE HEALTHY BLOG POSTS:
Ever wondered how you can build confidence? Do you want to become more confident in how you look so you are less self conscious? Here’s my guide to long-lasting unconditional confidence.
Would you take off your clothes in a room filled with strangers? I did - and it was amazing. Here’s what I learned from stripping off.
With all the hype, you’re probably at least a little bit curious about intermittent fasting. To set the record straight, I’m answering your burning questions like “Does intermittent fasting really work?” and “Should I try intermittent fasting”?
By working with (not against my cycle) I’ve discovered incredible ways to better manage my mood, body confidence, skin, hunger, cravings, exercise, sleep, sex drive and energy. Here’s how tracking my period helped me improve my health.
Feel guilty for demolishing the kitchen in another food binge? Angry with yourself for overeating yet again? Here are some simple strategies to help transform the binge into something useful.
If you want to become a nutritionist or a dietitian, this is my honest advice on starting a career in nutrition. Find out how I got my nutrition career started, what I recommend for study and how much nutritionists and dietitians earn. Plus more!
I got to have a chat with the legendary Ian Thorpe about mental health, body image and his work with Reach Out.
Losing the last bit of weight can be so hard. If it feels like your body is fighting against you and you can't lose those last few pounds, make sure you read this.
Are you too hard on yourself? Do you lie in bed at night running through all the ways you’ve failed or aren’t ‘good enough’? It’s essential to learn to be kind to yourself. Here are my go-to strategies when I need to be extra kind to myself.
HEALTHY RECIPES FROM MY KITCHEN:
My best healthy bran muffin are a new healthy snack idea and they're seriously great for lunchboxes as they're nut-free. Make a batch of this bran muffin recipe ahead of a busy week for healthy meal prep.
In just 15 minutes, you’ll have this flavourful, easy and healthy meal ready to eat.
Here's a quick and healthy breakfast recipe idea with only 5 ingredients. It's a great meal prep recipe to make ahead of a busy week! All you need is milk, oats, chia seeds, cacao and maple syrup to create this quick and easy breakfast meal.
If you’re looking for a quick, one-pot, midweek meal – try out my healthy 20-minute chicken curry. Yum!
With just 5-ingredients, this super simple Low GI rice pudding is awesome for breakfast or dessert. Oh, and did I mention it’s ready in just 10 minutes?!
Best. Healthy. Appetiser! Big call - I know - but this healthy appetiser is seriously great to take to a party. It’s got texture and flavour PLUS it’s super easy. My friends loved it. I bet your friends will too… Enjoy making this delicious recipe!
This Chilli Garlic Green Beans recipe is a healthier alternative to hot chips. Alright. I get it. Not as tasty as hot chips. But you can eat these healthy chilli, garlic green beans every night and feel good.
This quick and easy healthy dinner recipe is going to spice up your midweek meals. With a few basic, everyday ingredients and one-pan - you’ll pull together a delicious and healthy dinner the whole family will enjoy.
I love a quick, healthy recipe. And this One Tray Teriyaki Huon Salmon Recipe is my go-to healthy option when I come home from work (and I'm exhausted!) but still want to eat healthily. It couldn't be easier...
These smashed sweet potato garlic bites are legendary. Topped with crispy parmesan cheese, they taste so good and they're good for you too. Get the recipe.
This delicious baked salmon recipe is inspired by Ottolenghi and I could eat it ALL the time. It's a perfect mid-week meal and ideal for entertaining (and impressing your mates). Minimal clean-up. Max taste.
This is comfort food made healthy! It's rich, it's creamy and also loaded with six sneaky serves of vegetables - making it ideal for kids and adults alike.
Warning: You're going to want to eat the entire tray of these crispy sweet potato curly fries. Good thing they’re healthy and easy to make!
Shakshuka (a traditional baked egg dish with in a rich tomato sauce) is a seriously healthy and simple meal. Try my mushroom Shakshuka for breakfast. I bet it'll make you feel so good! ;)
Mornings just got a whole lot more cosy and tasty with this 5-minute breakfast. Perfect breakfast for cold mornings.
Finally! A delicious smoothie recipe that easy to make AND keeps me full for hours. I’ve been waiting for you a long time…
No time to cook? Make dinner great again with this 20 minute super-simple recipe. Faster and more convenient than takeaway. But the best bit? Minimal cleaning up.
Here’s a quick and easy midweek dinner option. I’ve snuck vegetables into these delicious patties so they’re a fabulous for lowering your grocery bill and boosting your health by eating less meat.
Want a simple, yet healthier lasagne without the fuss? This healthy lasagne is the best comfort food. It’ll help you eat healthily on a budget and it’s vegetarian, so it’s perfect for meat-free Monday.
Is this the best mushroom soup recipe ever? This soup is seriously delicious, east, affordable and simple recipe. Perfect for beautifully healthy for meal prep or mid-week dinners.
My mum makes the BEST Thai Corn Soup. I turned it into a healthy version that doesn’t compromise on flavour. This healthy recipe is great for meal prep, if you’re on a budget or love meat-free Mondays.
A surprisingly quick and easy breakfast idea for a seriously healthy start to your day.
These no-bake 3-ingredient chocolate 'brownies' are my current obsession and favourite sweet treat. This healthy, raw slice recipes also happens to be vegan, raw paleo sugar-freed sugar free.
When I first made this recipe, I lay in bed that night dreaming about how good it was. This warm roast cauliflower and chickpea salad with tahini dressing is what dreams are made of...
This super simple one tray salmon bake is a game-changer for mid-week meals.
This one-tray balsamic chicken is a perfectly balanced meal to make for a mid-week dinner (or meal prep)!
This Loaded Greek Salad is one of my favourite recipes. It uses everyday ingredients to create something really special... in a matter of minutes.
One pot and just a few key ingredients, this easy (and cheap!) recipe will create a delicious meal. Make it for Meat-free Monday and you'll have plenty of leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.
A delicious 4-ingredient treat. I pretty much just took the yummiest ingredients and blitzed them up into a recipe. How could it not be good?
This is an easy, classic and oh-so-delicious salad recipe to add to your repertoire. It's perfect for meal prep...!