“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” A common English-language proverb of Welsh origin. The proverb supports the folk-wisdom that consumption of fruits has identifiable health benefits. But what happens when you eat a dozen apples? You call the doctor right away. Consumption of fruits in excess and beyond moderation is what is called over-fruiting. So, is it bad for your health to eat a lot of fruit? Let’s discuss in the following points.
Sugar rush: Although consumption of a lot of fruits in adults is encouraged as long as it is a part of a healthy diet, one often forgets that fruits contain Fructose – Sugar for the layman. And it is no secret that sugar in excess is harmful to you and that’s the main concern. No denying that fruits pack fiber as well, but they also lack essentials required for balanced nutrition. And sugar in excess is harmful to you. Hence too much of fruit can also lead to diabetes and obesity.
Smoothies & juices: Popular way of consuming fruits is through juices. But is it a healthy way? Probably not. When fruit is consumed in juice format, one loses out on the fruit fiber and other many antioxidants and phytonutrients that are bound to fiber.
In case of smoothies, you blend the entire fruit retaining the essentials, although you will still get that peak in your insulin. But to be honest, both of these processes either remove or destroy the stringy bits of insoluble fiber that help limit the rapid absorption of sugar in the small intestine. Hence always opt for whole fruit.
Magic of two: How much fruit should one consume? Fruits are included in a healthy diet as they pack fewer calories. But like any other food, fruits too can be binged upon and that leads to caloric excess, which will in long-term lead to weight issues. It is ideally recommended that one shouldn’t go beyond two cups of whole fruit in a day as it is sufficient enough to provide you with necessary energy for the day and packs in moderate sugar and essential nutrients.
Pair it up: Fruits by themselves consist of fiber, sugars, and few essential nutrients. But by itself, the nutritional value of fruits are too low. Pair your fruits with carbs, protein or fat-based foods to get balanced nutrition for healthy development of your body.
Also, pairing up fruits with other fruits slows down the insulin spike as opposed to just fruit based diet. Popular options for pairing fruits include Milk, Yoghurt, Oats, Muesli, Nuts and Seeds. Go on, experiment with flavors, but don’t overdo it.
Diarrhea: Everything is good in moderation. Even too much good can be bad. Heavy fruit consumption comes with some downsides. Unsupervised and excess of whole fruits may give you diarrhea. So, the next time you go binge-eating on your favorite fruits, be prepared for a terrible morning the day after. Or for better mornings, just stick to healthy quantity.
Effect on the liver: Additional fructose can harm the liver which can further lead to insulin resistance in the liver also aggravating the fatty liver ailment. Fructose surges uric acid to rise and which, in excess, can result in kidney stones, gout and swift or intensify hypertension. So, it’s definitely advised to have a controlled consumption of it.
Diabetes: Consuming fruits in excess may lead to amplified inflammation in our cells. This only degenerates all the possible symptoms as a diabetic and can also enflame increase in diabetic complications.
People with diabetic conditions often prefer fructose instead of table sugar as a sweetener resulting fructose intolerance. Therefore, diabetics should bound their consumption of fructose to shun gastrointestinal distress.
(Dr Siddhant Bhargava is Fitness & Nutritional Scientist, Co-Founder, Food Darzee)