Too Much Fruit – Is It Bad?

Too Much Fruit - Is It Bad?


Fruit   is a group of  exclusively vegetable foods , typically sugary and mainly eaten raw; actually, from a botanical point of view it would be more correct to use the term FRUIT and also include in the respective group all those vegetables which, due to their lower carbohydrate content, are preferably used as a side dish:  tomatoes ,  cucumbers ,  courgettes ,  aubergines ,  pumpkins ,  olives  etc.

In any case, fruit represents a VERY important food source, thanks to the high nutritional content of  vitamins ,  mineral salts ,  soluble fiber ,  polyphenols ,  antioxidants  in general,  fructose  and  water . Obviously, not all fruit is the same and its nutritional composition varies above all on the basis of:

  • Botanical variety
  • Climate and growing environment
  • Cultivation method
  • Freshness or conservation

The  energy contribution  of  sugary fruit  derives mainly from carbohydrates, in particular from fructose, while the lipid and protein content are marginal; on the other hand, some types of fruit are known that have a high lipid content (apart from the whole category of  dried fruit , the best known being  coconut  and avocado ) .

Does Too Much Hurt?

To be honest, I personally do not believe that fruit can be labeled as a group of foods harmful to health, even if it is appropriate to make some considerations in this regard:

  •  Frequently eating fruit of ambiguous origin is NOT a hygienically correct habit; everyone knows that traditional agriculture makes systematic use of chemicals to guarantee crop yields. By purchasing  fruit of national origin , even if not organic, you have (or should have) the guarantee that these chemical agents are COMPLETELY metabolized by the fruiting plant and that they do not remain to a significant extent inside the food same… but this does not necessarily happen in foreign productions (above all of non-European origin). Many countries (in addition to using BANNED pesticides in the European community) do not respect the quantities and times necessary to restore the purity of the fruit; in this case, frequent consumption of foreign fruit could lead to excessive intake of unwanted contaminants (a classic example is that of  bananas ). Ultimately, too much contaminated fruit could significantly harm the consumer’s health.
  • Several innovative diets (so to speak…) suggest using fruit and vegetables  to  reach the minimum amount of  carbohydrates  in the diet AVOIDING  cereals  and sometimes even  legumes ; this principle is based:
    • On the reduced ability of fructose to stimulate insulin
    • On the body’s need to convert  fructose  into  glucose , a  hepatic process  that reduces its glycemic index .

    However, we have to deal with the downside!
    Starting from the assumption that:  if it is true that fructose stimulates insulin little, it is equally true that the derived glucose is in itself an  insulin -stimulating factor! Furthermore, exceeding the intake of fructose is observed (similarly to other carbohydrates ) a marked hepatic synthesis of  fatty acids  aimed at  adipose deposition .
    Ultimately, fruit is a good source of carbohydrates with a  low glycemic  and  insulin index BUT ONLY if introduced in adequate portions (max 300-400g at a time, based on the specific characteristics of the fruit). Last but not least, it has been highlighted by some studies that the EXCESS of fructose can harm especially  dysmetabolic patients  (due to an overload of hepatic processes) and nephropathic patients (due to the negative impact on  already compromised kidney function  ). .

  • Let’s now deal with the topic  FOOD FIBER  and ANTI-NUTRITIONAL MOLECULES; remember that fruit has good quantities of  dietary fiber  and anti-nutritional molecules which, if in excess, can cause   nutritional malabsorption . To demonstrate that eating only fruit can lead to an  excess of  dietary fiber, we will give a brief example below:
    ” … if it is true that the minimum amount of carbohydrates to be introduced in the diet (necessary to guarantee the functioning of the  nervous system ) is to 180g/day (LARN sources), and considering that a fruit like the  pear (Pyrus communis) provides 9.5g of fructose and 2.8g of fiber per 100g… to reach at least the recommended 180g, it would be necessary to eat about 1.9kg of  pears  a day (200g each, for a total of 9.5 per day) which would contribute over 50g of total dietary fiber! A bit too much I’d say… considering that fiber should be introduced in quantities of around 30g/day.
    On the contrary, the anti-nutritional molecules present in fruit (as well as in vegetables, especially raw) do not have a minimum recommended ration to follow and by logic we would be led to take as little as possible; paradoxically, among these we also recognize powerful antioxidants, namely polyphenols and  tannins, very useful molecules for the body but which (if in excess inside the intestinal lumen) chelate  metals  and reduce their bioavailability (such as iron  , important for hemoglobin synthesis  ); other elements such as  oxalates  have no nutritional value BUT (again at the intestinal level) significantly reduce the bioavailability of  calcium  (important for osteogenesis).

To conclude, even in this respect, eating TOO MUCH fruit is absolutely not a good food habit.



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