Fruit is the elephant in the room when it comes to quitting sugar. We’re here to bring it into the spotlight and explain why you don’t have to say goodbye to your favourite snack on the 8-Week Program.
The verdict on fruit
Considering that fruit packs a dose of sugar – including fructose – it’s no wonder that many of us are uncertain of how it fits in with a sugar-free lifestyle. But when it comes to whole fruit, it’s actually a pretty nutritious food that contributes to your daily vitamin and mineral needs. Grapefruit, for instance, has around 65% of our daily vitamin C needs per serve, while bananas are bursting with potassium, with a small banana boasting 12% of our daily needs. If you’re looking to keep the natural sugars to a minimum, take a look at some of the low-sugar fruits available:
- Passion fruit
- Dragon fruit
- Avocado – that’s right, avocado is a fruit!
Other forms of fruit
While we did say that whole fruit can be a healthful addition to any diet, it’s important to note that distinction. Other forms of fruit are not quite as welcome, and that’s because of the different effect they have on the body. Let’s take a look at fruit juice – this stuff is stripped of its fibre content, and when you buy the processed stuff, often time it’s been heated for safety standards, which can then lead to the loss of beneficial vitamins. Fibre is one of the essential elements of whole fruit, as it slows our bodies’ absorption of the sugars, thereby keeping our blood sugars more stable. It also reduces the effect of the fructose on our livers – as you probably know, fructose is a sneaky sugar which cannot be further broken down by our bodies, meaning our liver has to take on the job of metabolising it. So, problem solved, right? Well, not quite. If we consume too much fructose, we can overwhelm the liver and the results are not good. They include the development of conditions ranging from heart disease to fatty liver disease, with studies finding a link between obesity and excessive fructose intake.
Then we have dried fruit, and while it doesn’t have the same fibre problem as fruit juice, it has another, more sneaky issue – sugar. We know, fruit already has sugar, but did you know that dried fruit can have triple the amount of sugar of its fresh counterparts? They’re also made up of around 38 to 66% sugar and usually rate high on the glycaemic index – with dried figs coming in at 61 and raisins hitting 61.
Cutting fruit out temporarily
Those with addiction may benefit from a temporary exclusion of fruit, and this is because of how hard it can be to shake an addiction – after all, research has shown how sugar triggers the reward system in the brain, provoking a stronger response than cocaine. Take a look at some of the signs of a sugar addiction:
- Secretive eating behaviours like hiding food wrappers
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and depression
- Intense cravings for sugar
- Cravings worsen early in the morning or late at night
If this sounds like you, cutting out fruit while you recalibrate your body – and taste buds – from a clingy sugar addiction can be one way to break out of the sugar cycle. Of course, you can then reintroduce whole fruits for those nutritional benefits. During the 8-Week Program we have a fruit-free week where we aim to retrain our tastes, and you’ll find that once you incorporate fruit back into your diet, it will taste so much sweeter than you remembered. That’s why it’s not the end of fruit when you quit sugar – it’s the beginning of retraining our brains to enjoy healthy, nutritious foods.
Keen for more nutrition tips and tricks? That’s what we’re here for. With the 8-Week Program, you’ll have the tools to navigate the confusing worlds of food and health. With a team of experts rallying behind you, our program is one of the easiest ways to make sure your health goals become a reality; with ongoing support and exclusive access to recipes, meal plans and exciting content, there’s no better way to get your health back on track. If you haven’t already signed up, it’s not too late. JOIN NOW and take back control of your health.