Is fruit hazardous_ – the west australian


Can too much fruit be dangerous?

Fruit rocks. Packed with high-nutrient carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and antioxidants, fruit should be on everyone’s daily to-eat list. Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of queries about fruit, how much we should or shouldn’t eat. Let’s address those concerns:

Fruit has too much sugar for diabetics: People with diabetes still need carbohydrates, their two serves of fruit just need to be spread throughout the day and not eaten

all at once. Choosing lower-GI fruits (for example, ones with edible skin such as apples or grapes) will result in a slower release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, reducing the risk of high blood-glucose levels.

Sticking to the right portion sizes is also important — one cup of grapes is a serve — munching through a big bunch is not. A serve is typically one handful — one medium apple, two kiwifruits, one cup berries.

The fructose in fruit doesn’t suppress appetite: I’ll put things into perspective. Fruit is very low in kilojoules. If the average adult requires 8700kj and fruit serves range from one small apple (188kj), one pear (228kj), 20 grapes (335kj), two kiwifruits (328 kj), one banana (320kj) and one cup of strawberries (160kj), it’s no wonder some people might not find this filling.

While some people may be quite content with one piece of fruit as a snack, if you’re still hungry then combining fruit with other foods may help. For example half a cup of berries with half a cup of yoghurt or apple slices with peanut butter or 10 grapes and 10 almonds.

Some people also malabsorb certain sugars, leaving them bloated, windy and with other gut issues. Choosing low FODMAP fruits may assist and consulting an accredited dietitian who specialises in low FODMAPs is recommended.

Fruit should be completely cut out for a certain period of time to reduce sugar cravings: No, just no. We need a minimum amount of carbohydrates to fuel our body and brain for everyday living.

Fruit contains between 5g and 20g of carbohydrate per serve. At a bare minimum, most sedentary adults need 2g per kg of body weight per day, so let’s say a 70kg adult needs 140g carbohydrate per day. So 10-40g carbohydrate from fruit fits in there quite nicely.

So how much fruit is OK? I would suggest two cups of fresh or frozen fruit daily, dried fruit occasionally and limited fruit juice.

What if you have more? If one of my clients is hungry, I would rather they reach for an extra piece of fruit than a biscuit or piece of cake.