Fruit is something that’s often discussed in conversations about nutrition. Some people say it’s great, some people disagree…it can all get sort of confusing.
The fact of the matter is that the answer to my original question isn’t black and white. Like everything in health, nutrition, and medicine, decisions like this have to be based on each person’s individual circumstances at any given time point.
So even though I won’t be able to provide you an exact quantity or some magical formula, I can give you some guidelines to follow so that you can make better informed decisions for your own health.
The following 3 circumstances will outline who should consider limiting their fruit intake to just a few servings a day:
1. People Who Are Sedentary
People who are very active (whether that’s at your job or during work outs) require more carbohydrates to power their bodies. Since most fruit are pretty good sources of carbohydrates (along with all those good-for-you-nutrients!), they are a great option for those people who are on the go a lot.
Conversely, anyone who has a sedentary lifestyle is unlikely to need the extra load. Like too much of any good thing, eating extra servings of fruit that you don’t really need will ask your body to process the excess and likely store it for use later. Both of these outcomes aren’t generally what we’re looking for.
2. People With Hormonal Problems
Hormones in the human body as so cool! What’s really fascinating about them is the fact that they are so intricately interconnected. Unfortunately, this means that any hormonal imbalance or problem can lead to other problems down the line.
So whether you have problems with sex hormones, leptin/ghrelin, thyroid, cortisol, or any other hormone, eating excess amounts of fruit can impact your insulin levels and cause a ripple effect to the rest of your hormonal system.
Of course, fruit affects your endocrine system to a much smaller degree than say, processed candy or desserts, so you can still get away with eating some fruit without any negative consequences. But it is something to keep in mind if things aren’t falling into place for you as much as you’d like. This is something we talk about often with our ladies inside our 4 Phase Cycle Detox, as well as the Healthy Hormones Group Program (which includes functional lab work and a personalized protocol).
3. People Who Eat Less Because Of Fruit
Because fruit is so sweet and delicious, it’s really easy to eat it in mass quantities. That can sometimes mean that fruit will crowd out other sources of healthful nutrients because, quite simply, people fill up on it.
If this sounds like you, I highly recommend making like your mother and treating fruit like dessert…even when it comes to snacks. This means that you might eat a more substantial protein/fat/carb source when you’re hungry (try something like sardines, avocado wrapped in prosciutto, or veggies dipped in guacamole) before reaching for the sweet stuff. Often, this will mean that you eat fewer servings of fruit without actually trying.
In addition to keeping an eye out for the quantity of fruit you eat each day, if you’re dealing with one or more of these categories, you might also consider sticking to fruit that have lower sugar content…things like citrus fruit and berries.