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Is Sugar in Fruit Bad For You?

Recently, there was a great article in the Washington Post that discussed the claim by many fad diets like “fruit is bad for you” or “fruit is toxic.” There was a time when we didn’t question whether fruit was good for us, when we more or less took “eat your fruits and veggies” to heart.

Today, many people are worried that fruit is too high in carbs, sugar and calories.

It’s true that whole fruit contains sugar, but it is natural sugar. The sugar we would be wise to limit is added sugar, found in regular soda and many highly processed foods. When you eat an apple, a pear, a peach or some berries, their sugar comes wrapped in a fiber-rich, water-rich, nutrient-rich package. That fiber slows the release of fruit’s natural sugar into your bloodstream, preventing a sugar spike, especially if you eat your fruit as part of a meal or snack that contains protein and healthy fats.

Ditching fruit may mean missing out on some key nutrients. Many fruits are rich not just in vitamins and minerals, but also in phytochemicals, natural plant-based compounds that appear to have a variety of health benefits, including helping to prevent cancer and promote cardiovascular health. Pigment-rich berries and cherries are especially good sources of phytochemicals, but apples, oranges and other fruits contain phytochemicals, too.

Frankly, fruit doesn’t deserve the bad reputation it’s developing; it is the healthiest sweet around. We naturally like the taste of it, because we are born with an affinity for sweetness. So, how much fruit should you eat? That depends on your age, gender and level of physical activity. Two cups per day is the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommendation for men and younger women; the recommendation drops to 1½ cups for women older than 30. If you get more than 30 minutes per day of moderate-intensity exercise, you may choose to include more.

The bottom line is that fruit — especially when in season — adds pleasure, nutrition, and variety to our meals. So go beyond plopping some berries in your cereal or yogurt: Have an orange with your scrambled eggs, an apple with your almonds, a juicy peach for dessert. You’ll be happier — and healthier.

The week's delivery includes:

- Organic Flavor King pluots - WA Extra Fancy Honeycrisp apples - Super Sweet red grapes - Organic Flavorich pluots - Rainforest Alliance-certified bananas

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