There’s a common misconception out there that embarking on a fruit-heavy diet is a surefire way to stay trim. But according to Atlanta-based nutritionist Marisa Moore, fruit is like any food, in that it needs to be consumed in moderation. As Moore explains, since most fruit is heavy on sugar, we should be especially careful with how much of it we eat. Despite fruit’s many important nutrients, Moore insists that there is such a thing as eating too much of it. “This is a little bit complicated, because I don’t ever want to send a message that fruit is not a good choice,” Moore told Self recently.
While More does recommend eating fruit regularly, she also points out that contrary to popular belief, fruit’s calories are by no means “free,” a myth perpetrated by weight-loss organizations like Weight Watchers, which assigns zero “points” to all fruits and vegetables in its popular measurement system. One way in which people consume too much fruit is through daily smoothie intake. Despite the popular beverage’s categorization as a health food, Moore points out that smoothies are chock-full of sugar. “Smoothies can absolutely be a healthy part of a diet, but I always encourage people to add in protein so the smoothie has more staying power, and to add vegetables to balance out the fruit,” Moore explains. “That way you’re not getting so much sugar, especially in one meal.”
Abby Langer, who owns Abby Langer Nutrition in Toronto, also weighed in, telling Self that the average adult should consume no more than two cups of fresh fruit a day. “People have the impression that fruit is so much healthier than a chocolate bar, so they blow the doors off with oranges,” Langer says. “Even though it’s natural, when you consume fruit, your body treats it like any other sugar.”
Langer also explains that while the sugar found in fruit shares properties with the sugar found in candy, it also comes with fiber, which means it’s absorbed into the bloodstream at a less rapid rate. Still, Langer says that if you’re experiencing issues like fatigue or having difficulty losing weight, you might want look into your daily fruit intake and adjust accordingly.
For more health tips, pick up a copy of The Detox Kitchen Bible by Lily Simpson, and let us know how much fruit you eat a day.