Eating them at a certain time of day, never in juice, and of all colors. All that sounds good, but, what does science say? Here we clarify your questions.
Advisor: Óscar Rosero
Meal plans are increasingly being presented and fruits have become a subject of discussion and are sometimes left off the daily menu. The debate goes on about the amount of fruit that should be consumed in a day and its health contributions: Is it better in juice or whole? Does fruit contain a lot of sugar? Should I eat it with or without the skin? These are all valid questions that can be answered by endocrinologist Óscar Rosero, who has worked on the issue of conscious eating based on “real” foods as opposed to processed foods.
- Fruits are not fattening
Unless they are consumed in excess. Diets that emphasize the glycemic index (the ability foods have to raise blood sugar), such as keto, point out that some fruits may increase it too much and recommend avoiding them. But for doctor Rosero, eating a mango or banana is not comparable to processed food, even if they have the same glycemic index because fruits provide vitamins, minerals, and trace elements that would not be consumed if they were eliminated from the diet. In addition, they are real foods, and the body is designed to consume them, unlike processed foods.
- Juices are more delicious, but…
It is best to consume the whole fruit in its natural form. Juice is not good “because the food matrix is changed,” states endocrinologist Rosero. This makes the natural sugar in the fruit be absorbed more quickly. For example, a glass of orange juice contains four oranges (equivalent to 8 tablespoons of sugar) and is consumed in 30 seconds. But, eating four whole oranges takes at least an hour, giving the body time to process them, and you will fill up before eating them all. Whole fruit satisfies the appetite, while the liquefied version makes sugar a heavy burden for the pancreas.
- No clock in hand
There is no specific time you should eat fruit, but if you have problems with your weight or are obese, it is best not to eat them at night. The human body has a better response to high-calorie foods in the morning, after breakfast has activated the insulin. Endocrinologist Rosero points out that if processed foods are eliminated from the diet, there will be enough space for the daily consumption of fruit and legumes. Packaged foods with added sugar should be removed from the pantry. Sugar comes in various names such as corn syrup or agave syrup.
- You do not need a color palette
Unripe fruit has a lower glycemic index, so it is more advisable for those with blood sugar problems. However, all fruit is healthy and should be eaten. Ideally, they should be varied in order to receive the different benefits that each one of them offers.
- Do not fear GMOs
It is not possible for the genes of fruits to modify the genetic code of humans that consume them, so eating GMO fruit is not harmful, and it is difficult to avoid. Most fruits are genetically modified, not only because of their natural evolution, but also because of the processes they have gone through to mature more slowly and be resistant to pests, among others.
- Eat the skin, but wash it first
Not washing fruits and vegetables correctly before eating them can be harmful, since we are not sure how they have been handled before reaching the table. Therefore, it is advisable to disinfect them with a 5% hypochlorite solution and then wash them with water to avoid any intoxication. There are also specialized products for this process that are non-toxic.
- Good for metabolism
Fruit has low caloric density in general, satisfies your appetite, and is full of micronutrients, improves intestinal microbiota (microorganisms that are beneficial to the body) and regularly consuming fruit reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and obesity. In addition, the sugar in fruit is intrinsic, not free like the sugar we have at the table or in juice, so it is processed differently in the body. However, it is always good to check with your family doctor to find out if there are any fruit recommendations for your health.