So, Should We Really Be Eating All This Fruit?
3/17/2011 2:25 PM
This is a really fascinating article from the website peertrainer.com 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.
Food, Health, Lose For Good