Fruit on a Real Food Diet
If you’re following a real food lower carb diet you may have already realized that “an apple a day” doesn’t necessarily keep the doctor away. Nevertheless, most of us were initially shocked to learn that fruit is not necessarily welcome in every version of a “healthy diet”.
Fruit, is without a doubt, a contentious topic in the Nutrition world. You’re gonna have the gang that claims fruit & vegetables have the most micronutrients per ounce (vitamins and minerals) and the gang that calls fruit “Nature’s Candy”. The reality is that fruit is a lot sweeter (I won’t even get into that here) and more available all year round than it was 100 years ago. It’s not the most nutritious food (no it’s not, look up liver and you’ll see the difference…) but it can be part of a Real Food Diet, for some.
Another reality is that when people switch to a “healthier diet” they many times overdo it on fruit to deal with their cravings and deprivation. This is not great and it won’t help anyone’s healing journey. I personally had this happen to me. As a young woman with PCOS who craved bread and chocolate all day, I would go though bouts of this. Replacing more nutritious foods with mostly fruit is not a good idea because not only will it raise insulin (and blood sugars in those already diabetic) but it will also feed your cravings which will become insatiable and you’ll likely cave as well as potentially become deficient of essential nutrients (such as protein and fat) in the long run.
What’s the alternative? Instead of having too much fruit or mostly fruit in your diet or not having fruit at all, you may choose fruits wisely. Choose not only which fruits to consume, but also when to have them.
Which fruits should you have? This is going to depend on many factors. The first factor being choice. You must become informed and decide if you want to have fruit, which fruit to have, how much of it and how often. Depending on which version of a real food diet you opt, and even within the low carb diet, there is choice when it comes to fruit. If you choose to follow a strict low carb/ketogenic diet you may choose to remove most fruit, and stick to the lowest carb options such as avocado, coconut, lemons and limes and berries. If you choose to follow a primal or paleo diet you likely will have a pick of the fruit you want. Another important factor when making your choice, is where you are on your health journey aka What is the level of your insulin resistance? When I was first starting my journey I found it challenging to have any fruit because it would leave me craving, grazing and unsatisfied. Later, I found I could have some fruit within a meal and with enough protein, fibre and fat. I still don’t have fruit on its own, ever.
If you’re looking for more info on a low carb diet and fruit, have a look at this excellent reference: