I’ve gotten some questions and witnessed some confusion recently about fruits from friends and family, so today I decided to drop some fruit related knowledge bombs on you all. Fruit has become this gray area in nutrition, fitness, and weight loss. There are differing opinions and contradicting recommendations. We are told over and over that we need to increase our fruit and vegetable intake, but the nutrition prescription that many of us in the CrossFit community are told to follow is to only eat lots of veggies and only SOME fruit. Why the inconsistencies? Why specify “some” fruit? Why not lots of fruit? Are fruits and vegetables the same? Why am I eating my fruits and veggies, but still not leaning up? Why do I feel like my head is going to explode?
Wellllllll, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans lumps fruits and vegetables together, placing an equal amount of importance on the two groups of food and inadvertently providing the perception that their nutritional value is the same. The USDA MyPlate sets the goal at half the plate for fruits and vegetables without describing whether or not it matters how much of each there are. This is misleading information. Fruits and vegetables are not the same nutritionally and, pardon me while I get all sciencey, a single serving of vegetables has about 5 grams of carbohydrate and 25 calories whereas a single serving of fruit has about 15 grams of carbohydrate and 60 calories. Simply put, that shit is different. Although both vegetables and fruits provide many of the same vitamins and minerals, they are NOT the same. And guess what, they make all the difference in your diet depending on your goals.
Don’t get me wrong, fruit is good for your body. It is most definitely a better choice than processed packaged foods and provides vitamins and minerals your body needs. The sugar in fruit is different from the sugars added to foods and beverages mostly because fruits also have fiber and water, resulting in a slower spike in blood sugar. However, if you’re trying to loose weight… you’re exercising… you cut the refined starches and the processed junk… and you still aren’t seeing any results… the sugars in fruit, although natural, could be the reason. They may actually be contributing to some weight gain, especially if you’re eating the ones highest in sugar. Here’s the deal:
When is it good to eat fruit?
- I think there are a few instances when it is definitely beneficial to eat fruits, as well as starchy vegetables. We can lump these two groups together into the same category because they often act similarly within the body). Directly after a workout there is this magical period in which your muscles want to grow. They are so friggen eager to grow, and they will as long as you give them fast carbohydrate and protein. This is the ideal time for carbohydrate dense vegetables and fruits to be put to great use.
Oh come on, I’ve gotta be able to eat fruits. They’re like, real and healthy.
- The biggest culprits of hidden amounts of sugar that could actually be hindering your weight loss include bananas, papayas, apples, mango, pineapple, grapes, pears, melons, oranges, nectarines, and persimmons
- The better fruits, the ones you might get away with grabbing more often, would be berries. These are naturally lower in sugar, higher in fiber, and full of antioxidants so you get more nutritional bang for your buck.
What about smoothies? I love my smoothiez.
- You may remember me saying in the past that bitches love breakfast. Well if there is one thing that bitches love more than breakfast, its smoothies. When you sit down to drink your extra tall smoothie mid-day I want you to think about a few things first.
- Would you eat all the fruit and vegetables and juice and flax seed and yogurt and protein and whatever the eff else you just threw into that blender, without blending it, all in one sitting? If the answer is hell no… then you should probably rethink drinking all that stuff. If the answer is yes… I’m concerned for your well being.
- Smoothies can be tasty, but your body likes to chew and digest it’s food. It’s that whole use it or loose it concept. To have the best gut you can, you’ve gotta let it do it’s job. If not, the sugar from that fruit smoothie is going straight into your blood and spiking your blood sugar. Same goes for fruit juice, even the 100% shit. Remember, elevated blood sugars can lead to a whole mess of problems.
- If you’re going to drink them anyway, do it during that magical half hour window right after your workout when your muscles could use the fast carbs.
That being said I AM NOT trying to tell you to cut out fruit and avoid it like the plague. This is little nugget of knowledge will help you be better. If you’re trying to gain then you can get away with eating more fruit, if you’re trying to loose then dial it back.The best way to figure it all out is to play around with the amount and type of fruits you’re eating. If you’re eating fruit with every meal, it’s time to back off. Oh and no need to worry, you can get all of the same vitamins and minerals from eating a variety of vegetables instead.
I’m informing you for a reason. I’m injecting this insanely useful knowledge into your brain so that you can have the tools to make informed decisions and some serious gainz. I’m droppin’ knowledge bombs on y’all.