Is Fruit Healthy?

A balanced diet must contain fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, grains, seeds and dogmas! Many dogmas! Unquestionable realities that grow stronger and even more unquestionable year after year; always very consistent in shaping our concepts about everything, including Fitness: Our ability to act, survive, perform across any given task or environment, no matter what it is, taking in consideration Nutrition, Physical Conditioning & Health in General.

It is noticeable that we often tend to learn and acquire knowledge about these topics, more through informal sources: blogs, television, magazines, celebrities, workout partners, strangers, than through formal channels of education, as scientific journals, books, courses and seminars presented by Health, Physical Education and Nutrition professionals.

It was based on this reality, that I felt compelled to start Nilogia Fitness, a blog that aims to guide people like me, who suffered for many years with this lack of consistent information related to Health, which by the way, as a trainer, I believe it is everyone's right. Knowing what to eat, what to drink, what kind of exercises to do is a must for our well being and not a luxury that should be reasonable only for those who can pay hundreds of dollars for a gym or box memberships, personal training, courses and nutritionists.

Nilogia has presented in recent publications, possible ways by which we end up judging whether a food item is good or bad for our development, but today I want to address an issue that does not seem very well explored when it comes to eating for increasing Health & Body Composition. Is Fruit Healthy?

Fruits are nutritious, contain vitamins and minerals required for the proper functioning of our bodies, but when we examine the nutritional value of a fruit in comparison to one serving of vegetables or plants, we might come to realize that with the same caloric content, legumes and vegetables often pack more nutrients, less calories per gram and smaller concentration of sugar.

10% of the total weight in a fruit is sugar. So, let's say that if you eat three bananas and two apples a day, you would be almost consuming the same amount of sugar and excessive energy packed inside some cans of soda or eating your favorite ice cream.

"Nilo, but if I did that, I would be giving up the fibers and nutrients inside fruits!" Perhaps you are right, after all, there are many evidences pointing out that due to being rich in nutrients, fiber and antioxidants, fruits are good for the skin, they protect against the risks of heart disease, improve development, increase our energy levels, help keeping healthy intestinal flora, among other benefits.

Still, I've been noticing from my own experience, as well as through clients, family, close friends and athletes, that when we start eating more fruits, we considerably tend to reduce other plants and vegetables consumption; we might feel sleepy due the extra unnecessary sugar comsumption playing havoc in our blood stream, and we always end up asking for something sweeter to bring back that high blood sugar feeling, and the second round hardly is another piece of fruit. Draw your own conclusions answering: What is more pleasing to your palate? Sweet strawberries and grapes or a portion of raw unseasoned fresh broccoli?

Except for those who feel alright living like Ninja Turtles on a daily basis, many of us end up choosing fruits; often eating larger portions than we should. We follow on eating desserts when we feel like (after all fruit is not being used to replace deserts, but as the nutritious substitute for vegetables), still relying on the sweet and intense flavors provided by other processed food, and the worst: we start living in a mad roller coaster where our blood sugar constantly goes up and down, increasing the risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

Before agriculture, at the time of our ancestors, evidence shows that the fruits were seasonal, so that it was kind of difficult, probably impossible eating a fruit salad with 4-5 different fruits like nowadays. They were more sour than the fruits we eat, and only sweet when compared to vegetables and meats.

Currently, through selective harvesting and the development of agriculture through the use of machines, fertilizers, genetically modified seeds (mutants!) and pesticides, fruits arrive to our supermarkets in gigantic sizes, super sweet, and usually abundant, no matter if you live in Greenland or in Brazil, or if we are in July or January.

My conclusion is that fruit, as it is offered to us nowadays, disregard being organic or not, should be kept at a level of foods to be eaten only occasionally, and that should be considered nutritious only if compared to a chocolate bar or some cookies.

The unnecessary consumption of sugars (carbohydrates) ultimately stimulate weight gain. All the sugar consumed in excess ends up being converted into new energy reserves, aka: FAT, LARD, BIG BONES, EXCUSES TO BEING OVERWEIGHT, OBESITY, BELLY, LOVE HANDLES, etc.

And if you really want a personalized plan that fits you more efficiently, of course, seeking the help of a good nutritionist is the best investment you can make. The price might even seem high in the first moment, but once you finally start seeing the changes, it becomes nothing in comparison to the years and years that many of us throw away, seeking results that never come to happen.

Keep Strong. Eat Your Veggies, Than Tell Me About the Fruits.