Love eating fruits but are you wondering whether to eat them or not because of various things you hear about them? Consultant Registered Dietitian, Preethi Rahul gives you the fruity facts…
Why do you need to eat fruits?
Fruits contain perfect quantities of simple sugars, our fuel; water, the great cleanser and carrier of the body; vitamins and minerals, which the body needs for healthy maintenance; and fibre to provide bulk and prevent digestive problems. Above all fruits are delicious and packed with nutrients!
Myth: Fruits should be had as desserts
Fact: Fruits should be eaten on an empty stomach…not as dessert immediately after your meal as it is often done. If fruits are had immediately after a meal, they combine with other carbohydrate or protein dense foods, which lead to processes like fermentation and putrefaction. Hence you may experience bloating, acidity and other digestive problems. If you eat a fruit on empty stomach, it will help you detoxify your system. It will also aid in weight loss.
Myth: Fruit juice is better than a fruit
Fact: Definitely not! Any day a whole fruit is better than a fruit juice as it contains fibre and natural sugars. A fruit juice may contain added sugar, colour or preservatives which are not healthy. Fibre is essential, as it provides bulks, keeps you full longer and prevents digestive problems and it can be obtained only from a whole fruit. Fruit juice is acidic and may erode the teeth enamel if had in large amounts.
Myth: Some fruits are healthier than others
Fact: Each fruit is different and has its individual characteristic .Different fruits contain different amounts of vitamins, mineral and phytochemcials. The best way to make sure you get the full range of all these beneficial compounds is to eat a variety of fruit rather than one particular one.
Myth: Organic fruit has more nutrients than fruit grown with pesticide
Fact: All fruit, however it is grown, provides useful amounts of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Organic fruits are expensive and not everyone can afford them. Some studies show that organic fruit does contain higher levels of vitamins and minerals, others show there is no significant difference. So, the choice is yours!
Myth: Fruit Bars are equivalents to whole fruits
Fact: Fruit bars have high sugar concentrations and tend to stick to teeth. Chewing real fruit and vegetables, especially helps children develop their jaw and tongue muscles. Fruit bars do not have the same form, texture or fibre, of a whole fruit and hence both are not equivalents. Fruit bars are okay once in a while but definitely not recommended on an everyday basis.
Myth: Pesticide residue in fruits increases risk of cancer
Fact: Pesticide residues are definitely a risk factor for cancer but most of the researches done on fruits conclude that benefits associated with eating fruits far outweigh any potential risk from pesticides.
Myth: Eating fruits causes Diabetes
Fact: Fruit eating does not cause diabetes. Diabetes is actually caused by a high-fat diet, combined with other factors (some possibly genetic) that will cause insulin sensitivity. In fact, many Type 2 diabetes patients are recommended to have fruits, as they provide fibre. Certain fruits having a high glycaemic index like chickoo, banana, custard apple, jackfruit, mango and grapes are a certainly not recommended.
Myth: Fruits are expensive
Fact: Make a list of junk foods, carbonated beverages etc that you purchase on your every supermarket trip and also a list of fruits that you purchase. Do a cost analysis and you will be surprised to see how much more you spend on the not-so-healthy foods. If you are planning to invest on your health, then fruits are definitely a yes-yes!
Enjoy your fruit but make sure you eat them in the right way, right amount and at the right time!