I absolutely love fruit and it drives me crazy when it gets a bad rap because it’s too “high in carbs. ” Let me start by saying no one ever got fat from eating too much fruit. Fruit is the healthiest way to satisfy your sweet tooth and loaded with benefits not easily measured in macros; nonetheless, many of us are concerned with the amount of calories, carbs, and sugar we put in our bodies on a daily basis.
There are 3 factors I look at when considering fruit: calories, sugar, and glycemic index (GI). We’re all pretty familiar with calories and sugar so I’ll explain GI a little more. The glycemic index is a measurement used for carbohydrate-containing foods to determine the impact on our blood sugar levels. Low GI food release carbs gradually into the bloodstream while high GI foods release carbs quickly. Generally speaking the higher a food’s GI, the more insulin your body produces.
Insulin is the most significant factor in fat storage. It increases the storage of fat in our cells and prevents the body from releasing it to be burned as fuel. Glucose (sugar) and fat are the body’s main sources of fuel with fat being the preferred source. The thing is our body won’t release fat to be burned for fuel if high levels of glucose are available in the blood stream because insulin is preventing it from doing so.
So what does all this have to do with fruit? Different fruits have different GI’s so it helps to be aware of the impact they have on your blood sugar. Now this doesn’t mean a high GI fruit is bad but it might influence the time of day you want to eat it. For example, I like to put high GI fruit in my post-workout protein shakes to help shuttle nutrients where they belong.
I’ve put together a chart below so you can see how I incorporate different fruits into my diet based on glycemic index.
I eat anywhere between 2 to 5 servings of fruit per day depending on my calorie intake for the day.
This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.