So, Should We Really Be Eating All This Fruit?

Written by reneemichaelprewitt on 3/17/2011 2:25 PM | COMMENTS (20)

This  is a really fascinating article from the website about all the fruit eating  Weight Watchers now advocates. I know my boot camp trainer, Ariane Hundt has some issues with this. So, it was interesting to read a piece that takes on this topic head-on. I know there will likely be a lot of opinions pro and con:

We have been sent a series of emails asking why Weight Watchers allows unlimited fruit but the PEERtrainer Cheat System makes you count it after the first serving. With a few exceptions.

The first point to make here is that the people who do Weight Watchers and those who have really "gotten into" PT are fairly distinct. We would observe that the two tools serve people at different phases. Weight Watchers is an excellent tool for people who are just starting to get their eating and weight under control, and who are starting the process of making better food decisions. If you are eating the standard Western or American diet that is high in processed foods and high in sugar, a shift to more fruit makes a ton of sense.

Yes, fruit contains a lot of sugar, but it also contains important nutrients, and as you make this shift you are essentially replacing worthless sugar with some sugar that has more vitamins, minerals and important micronutrients and phytochemicals. These added nutrients are critical to your long term health. Certain fruits, especially berries have some very powerful health promoting aspects to them. In fact, Strawberries and Blueberries are unlimited on the Cheat System if they are organic. Citrus also has some unique properties to it. Grapefruit is a powerful food in particular, and also one of the few unlimited fruits on the Cheat System.

That said, a lot of experts who deal with health, nutrition and peak
performance recommend a limiting or even an elimination of fruit. You'll
probably want to start doing that after you have lost your first amount
of weight, and that weight loss is sustainable.

You will only get to this place by making a shift to a much more nutrient dense diet, that includes lots of greens, vegetables, beans, a small amount of grass fed meat, good eye on portion control. And it can take time to transition. Weight Watchers is excellent in particular in teaching you portion control, and basically getting a solid set of "training wheels" going for you. Most people can't just jump in and do something like the Cheat System after doing the typical diet.

Once you do get to this point, you are going to be getting enough nutrients in your diet that you can begin to reduce your fruit, especially in relation to your overall vegetable intake. Our view is that you don't want to eliminate fruit, especially berries, cherries and grapefruit. But you are having health problems, you are hitting a weight loss plateau, or you want to improve your athletic performances you will want to start taking a closer look at this.

Timothy Ferriss, who has written an interesting new book called The 4 Hour Body, says that if your goal is weight loss, "don't eat fruit." Period. He writes, "Humans don't need fruit six days a week, and they certainly don't need it year round." In his view, the principal sugar in fruit, fructose ends up getting converted into a substance which ends up being stored as fat "more efficiently than almost all other carbohydrates."

Robert Young, PhD, says in his book, The pH Miracle For Weight Loss,
"most fruits are high in sugar...despite the nutrients they also contain, are best avoided." He goes on to assert that "You will not lose weight, or lose it quickly, or keep it off, i f you are eating high sugar fruits." He also asserts that fruit is especially bad for diabetics.

Joel Fuhrman, M.D. does not take as strict a view on fruit. In his food scoring system, green vegetables score much higher than any fruit. So anyone following that system will prioritize vegetables over fruit. However, for people who are sick or who have autoimmune diseases, Fuhrman recommends cutting fruit way down.

Categories: FoodHealthLose For Good

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  • Post Image epoch_one (ruben)

    12/30/2013 3:08 AM
    I just recently got back on WW and when i saw that "free fruit" was introduced, I called shenanigans really quick. This article helped set me straight on a lot of things. I liked the sources quoted toward the end of the article since I do own "The Four Hour Body" which was part of the reason why the new tracking system caught me by surprise.

  • Post Image hopefuly1 (sherri)

    2/16/2013 9:21 AM
    It was good to see the comment about autoimmune disease (I have hashimoto thyroiditis). I have never been able to loose weight while eating sugar. Since I started Points Plus I've been eating tons of high sugar fruits because they are free - now I'll have to readjust. Glad I read it - hopefully I can make the shift.

  • Post Image hurleygirliekas (kimberly)

    2/23/2012 9:05 PM
    I am glad to see this article because I have been struggling with this idea of "free" fruit. Of course it is better than some chips, but I think I am consuming waaaay too much. :)

  • Post Image aileen gravina

    3/27/2011 11:15 PM
    At my meetings they say to still stick to the "good health guideline" of 5 fruit/veg servings a day, just don't count them in your points.

  • Post Image 19goforit53 (carla)

    3/24/2011 4:56 PM
    Hmm, "food" for thought. I am stalled in my WL and I did increase my fruit recently...but I justified it because I avoid sugar in everything else. May change to more snacks that are green. Thanks!

  • Post Image besusan (latonya m)

    3/20/2011 7:23 PM
    I'm with Corliss. I never interpretted WW message to be eat ALL the fruit you want. At some point individuals have to take the responsibility of learning about nutrition. Diabetes runs in my family and my love has it so I know better. I like that some experts acknowledge that if you transitioning from junk and processed food that telling folks to eat more fruit really amounts to folks starting to eat fresh produce when they rarely ate it. Thanks.

  • Post Image corlitto

    3/20/2011 12:01 PM
    I haven't read in my WW material where WW advocates all the fruit you want. WW has always emphasized moderation. I'm a type 2 diabetic and since I was diagnosed, my doctors always said no more than 2 fruits a day. So when I started WW, I knew that 5 fruits/veggies daily for me meant 2 fruits and 3 veggies. There is a WW article called 'When zero points isn't zero'. It explains that WW's intent was never for fruit overload - eaten in moderation it would not lead to weight gain. Eat sensibly

  • Post Image suz608

    3/19/2011 8:57 PM
    Very interesting, but I'm pretty sure I would wither up without my fruit. I love it so much, always have. Of course, like anything, there is such a thing as too much. But i like the way the opinions are laid out. Thanks.

  • Post Image rafficat

    3/19/2011 12:46 PM
    Thanks for sharing. Also, if you take a careful look at the WW recommendations for the PointsPlus system, the wording is also such that they say that you 'shouldn't go overboard' with fruit consumption. I haven't seen anything that explains why or how much to limit by or anything like that though. I'm assuming the facts mentioned here are part of the reason they say this.

  • Post Image alainawatson

    3/18/2011 10:08 PM
    Thank you, I knew it wouldn't be helpful for diabetics; it will send them into a coma. Right now, I eat more fruits when all my points run out. It satisfies the craving. ;-)

  • Post Image maineveggie66

    3/18/2011 9:22 PM
    Very, very interesting. I will have to find these books! Thanks so much for sharing this, Tammy

  • Post Image delarsen651 (david)

    3/18/2011 10:49 AM
    Good food for thought. I will rethink how many bananas I eat per day and maybe substitute something green instead. Thanks. BTW I do eat more fruits in a day than bananas. However, let me add, I didn't get fat because of fruit.

  • Post Image javonjay (caryn)

    3/18/2011 9:13 AM
    Also, I do WW online and from my view, WW has been in line with the NATIONAL health guidelines that say 5 servings of fruits and vegetalbes per day. In my mind the first 5 servings are all you need, so why all the intense debate. 5 servings people, GET IT, GOT IT, GOOD! I believe pushing the merits of those 5 servings instead bashing the entire idea of fruit would serve people better!

  • Post Image javonjay (caryn)

    3/18/2011 9:09 AM
    This statement is what I have a problem --------->"You will only get to this place by making a shift to a much more nutrient dense diet, that includes lots of greens, vegetables, beans, a small amount of grass fed meat, good eye on portion control. " To me its telling me Blah, Blah , Blah, you will never enjoy food again, eat only twigs, berries and 2oz of chicken. Yeah, that's it! No where does WW say unlimited amount of fruit!

  • Post Image tfb029

    3/18/2011 8:38 AM
    Wow! Again I think the key is moderation. I eat fruit more now then I did with the old WW system. As stated below.. if you I chose the free fruit over the bag of chips that has to be better for me.

  • Post Image damarisr

    3/18/2011 8:30 AM
    I agree 100%, I stopped eating so many bananas, they are not that high in potassium compared to other foods. It's the type of fruit that you eat.

  • Post Image diloganreed (dianne)

    3/18/2011 7:35 AM
    That is very interesting. I don't eat that much fruit, mostly veggies for me, but I never thought it would come out not to eat fruit, in some cases. I can agree with eating them in their season, it's only natural.

  • Post Image rhenna

    3/18/2011 1:21 AM
    I still believe in moderation. I don't believe fruit is bad and I don't believe it can be eaten with abandon. I don't do either. I eat fruit, but not an enormous amount. I still feel fruit is a miracle - a natural, beautiful gift that I will always enjoy!

  • Post Image storyteacher

    3/18/2011 12:08 AM
    I knew when the "eat fruit until you are satisfied" statement first came out that there would be a big debate about it. Some people need more fruit and some need more veggies. As for me, I try to limit my fruit most days and gave up the fruit pig out quite early in the initial weeks of the P+ program. I believe WW will eventually back off and tell people to start counting fruit points after a certain amount. Some leaders are already telling their people this off the book.

  • Post Image twmthistime

    3/17/2011 9:05 PM
    I made a papaya salsa this weekend (from Weight Wathcers0 and it was all fruit and veggies and herbs..nothing else. But it had a 2 point plus value. I asked my leader tonight and she said mainly that they don't want people to go overboard/that it is for portion control and that if you are losing weight, you can count it as zero..if you aren't, then you should count the points in the recipe


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