Many studies have reported undesirable effects on blood sugar and weight gain from consuming excess fructose. (6) This may be why many Paleo experts have condemned fruit—perhaps before giving it a fair trial?
Here’s where the mistake lies: Most of these studies were done on either high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or concentrated fruit juices, and not whole fruits.
Whole fruits, on the other hand, are linked to weight loss AND lower blood sugar!
The results of a recent study in China that followed nearly 500,000 people for around 7 years showed that fruit actually lowers the risk of diabetes. (1) Researchers found that the population that ate the most fruit saw a 2 percent reduction in diabetes risk. In those who ate more fruit and were already diagnosed as diabetic, they saw an almost 2 percent reduction in mortality. This was a striking result because fruits are restricted for diabetics in most parts of Asia.
In a recent meta-analysis where three studies on fruits were evaluated, greater consumption of certain whole fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes and apples, is associated with a significantly LOWER risk of type 2 diabetes.
In the same study, they found that the regular consumption of fruit juice was associated with a HIGHER risk of type 2 diabetes. (2)
Eat Whole Fruits to Lose Weight
Fruit contains large amounts of simple sugars (glucose, fructose, sucrose, etc.), which are well-known to induce obesity. Considering the amount of simple sugars found in fruit, it is reasonable to expect that their consumption might contribute to weight gain rather than weight reduction. However, epidemiological research has consistently shown that most types of fruit have anti-obesity effects and, once again, this only applies to whole fruits and NOT fruit juices, dried fruit, etc. (3)
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Ayurvedic Fruit Paste
In one study, the Ayurvedic superfood, chyawanprash – which is derived mainly from the amla fruit or amalaki (Emblica officinalis) – was studied alongside supplementation of vitamin C.
Ten normal healthy adult male volunteers (age 20-32 years) participated in the 16-week study. They were placed randomly in either a chyawanprash group or vitamin C group. Those in the chyawanprash group received about a tablespoon of chyawanprash per day, while those in the vitamin C group received 500mg of vitamin C per day.
Both groups were supplemented for 8 weeks during the study and then given no supplements for the next 8 weeks. For evaluation purposes, both groups were given an oral glucose tolerance test and lipoprotein profile performed at 0 weeks, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks.
At 8 weeks in the chyawanprash supplemented group, the researchers observed significant changes in both the blood sugar AND cholesterol results compared to the results of week 0. (5)
At 8 week in the vitamin C supplemented group, the researchers observed significant change in ONLY their LDL/HDL cholesterol ratios compared to the results of week 0.
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Ayurvedic Fruit-Eating Rules
- Have fruit as a meal, separate from other foods, during the warmer months of the year.
- Have fruit as a snack when a meal was not enough.
- Save the less sweet fruits to have with other foods. >>> See a Sugar Content of Fruit chart here
- Save the sweeter fruits to have as a meal, separate from other foods. >>> See a Sugar Content of Fruit chart here