Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Fruit

A while back, two large podcasts had guests saying awful things about fruit. Things like fruit causes cancer and fatty liver disease; fruit is worse than a candy bar.

This is INSANE. Please do not be afraid of fruit. I go into many of the benefits of fruit below, but first, I want to break down why information like this does not make sense and is harmful.

Saying that fruit causes fatty liver disease and cancer is wrong. Oxidative damage in the body causes cancer. Genetics matter, but they are only one small percentage of the big picture. How you eat and live is the biggest determinant. The reason some “experts” are connecting fruit to fatty liver disease is related to high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS in excess has been shown to cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, but the idea that all fructose is bad isn’t accurate. Fructose coming from fruit is balanced with glucose. You aren’t getting an excess and are also getting beneficial nutrients from that whole food.

Soda is clearly very different from an apple, and the fact that these huge podcasts are having people on claiming that fruit is the same if not worse than candy and soda blows my mind.

Let’s compare fruit to a candy bar:

  • fruit contains more vitamins and minerals
  • fruit is easier to digest
  • fruit doesn’t contain artificial additives
  • fruit isn’t processed
  • fruit contains a blend of fructose and glucose that is naturally occuring in nature
  • fructose in fruit is beneficial for our liver and helps balance blood sugar, whereas the fructose in the HFCS in these foods is processed, made from corn syrup, and leads to liver dysfunction

Benefits of Fruit for Hormone Health

  • Fruit is a blend of fructose and glucose. Fructose goes to our liver for processing and storage to help balance our blood sugar later. This means fruit gives us a much smaller insulin release than straight glucose (think grains), making it great for those working to balance blood sugar.
  • Fruit contains carbohydrates! As you likely know by now, carbs help us convert thyroid hormone in the liver and support healthy progesterone levels. They also reduce stress within the body, which is essential for balanced hormones.
  • Fruit is rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C contains copper, which powers hundreds of thousands of reactions in the body and helps keep iron is a healthy place. Vitamin C also helps support healthy adrenal function.
  • Fruit is an excellent source of potassium. Potassium helps thyroid hormone get inside the cell and is often depleted in the majority of my clients. Getting adequate potassium from fruit helps support healthy hormones.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but hopefully, you get the picture that fruit is helpful for hormone balancing.

If you have done any of my programs or worked with me, you know I’m a big proponent of fruit. It is much easier to digest than most vegetables, making it great for those struggling with gut issues. It’s also incredibly nutrient-dense and a great form so carbohydrates that most women tolerate well. I am disappointed to see all of this misinformation about fruit out there, but it’s a reminder of why I work so hard to educate women, so they don’t fall for harmful statements like that. Fruit is healthy and nourishing; please don’t be afraid of it.

I hope this helps build your confidence in deciphering what nutrition information is actually true vs. what is taking nutrients in certain foods out of context.

Looking to understand more nutrition myths? Check out this podcast episode, top 5 nutrition myths, and learn how to build a nourishing nutrition foundation for your health and hormones by checking out two other podcast episodes, nourishing nutrition foundations and how to eat to support your hormones.

reminder: i’m currently taking on 1:1 clients. if you’d like to explore what it would be like to work together and if we are a good fit, fill out this form to get more details!​

Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

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