You should surely eat your daily quota of fruit to stay healthy. But guard against eating too much, at the wrong time of day. 

Every health guru touts the benefits of fruit! We all know how important it is to eat some pears, apples or bananas, on a daily basis. These contain micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants, and prebiotics that are essential for general health.

But this doesn’t mean we should go wild, eating large quantities, at all times of the day. The truth is that all nutritious foods, including fruit, can do more harm than good when eaten in excess.

Overdose of sugar can harm

One reason is that fruit contains fructose, also known as fruit sugar, which we already consume in other sugary foods such as jams, fruit juices, soft drinks, and so on. This particular sugar doesn’t trigger the regulatory response of insulin that others do, and fails send any signals of fullness to the brain.

So, it’s easy to eat too much. And since fruit is not a major source of carbohydrates and proteins, eating this in place of other foods, can cause nutritional deficiencies.

How to get the best benefits 

#1 Keep track of the fructose
Those with high cholesterol or diabetes should be wary of their fruit intake, as high fructose consumption (over 74 gm a day) can lead to spike in the level of triglycerides and glucose. High levels of fructose in blood can increase the insulin level, impacting the metabolism adversely and leading to weight gain.

#2 Eat during the day
It’s best to eat fruit during the day, when you are most active. Eating a full plate at night may lead to weight gain, so if you love to eat litchis or grapes post-dinner, then limit your portion. Also, go for fruit that is low in sugar content such as apple, grapefruit, pineapple, cranberries, rather than bananas, mango, grapes or dates.

#3 Stay alert for fructose build-up
Fructose build up in the body can lead to a condition called fructose malabsorption that causes bloating, nausea, and abdominal pain. So if you frequently feel bloated or develop diarrhoea after eating fruit, then you should limit your intake.

#4 Maintain moderation
While the recommended daily amount of fruit is 2- 4 servings or 5 pieces, it’s easy to go over this limit. So, you should work seasonal varieties into your daily meal plan and make sure you eat within limits.

Also, eat a piece of whole fruit, rather than consuming juices. Whole fruit contains unprocessed, raw fructose that is more beneficial than ‘added sugars’ in juices and smoothies.