Fruit myths busted

Love eating fruits, but wondering whether to eat them or not because of various things you hear about them? Consultant registered dietitian Preethi Rahul gives you the fruity facts and busts some common fruit myths.

Fruits contain perfect quantities of simple sugars, our fuel, water, the great cleanser and carrier of the body, vitamins and minerals, needed for healthy maintenance, and fiber to provide bulk and prevent digestive problems. Fruits are packed with nutrients and are delicious; don’t give in to myths about them!

Myth: Fruits should be had as desserts.

Fact: Fruits should be eaten on an empty stomach…not as a dessert immediately after your meal as it is often done. If fruits are taken immediately after a meal, they combine with other carbohydrate or protein dense foods, which lead to processes like fermentation and putrefaction. Hence, you may experience bloating, acidity, and other digestive problems. If you eat a fruit on an empty stomach, it will help you detoxify your system. It will also aid in weight loss.

Myth: Fruit juice is better than a fruit.

Fact: Definitely not! A whole fruit is always better than fruit juice as it contains fiber and natural sugars. A fruit juice may contain added sugar, color, or preservatives, which are not healthy. Fiber is essential, as it provides bulk, keeps you fuller for longer, and prevents digestive problems. It can be obtained only from a whole fruit. Fruit juice is acidic and may erode the teeth enamel if had in large amounts.

Myth: Some fruits are healthier than others.

Fact: Each fruit is different and has its individual characteristics and benefits. Different fruits contain different amounts of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemcials. The best way to make sure you get the full range of all these beneficial compounds is to eat a variety of fruit rather than just a particular one.

Myth: Organic fruits have more nutrients than fruits grown with pesticide.

Fact: All fruits, however they are grown, provide useful amounts of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Organic fruits are expensive and not everyone can afford them. Some studies show that organic fruit does contain higher levels of vitamins and minerals, others show there is no significant difference. Make an informed choice.

Myth: Fruit bars are equivalents to whole fruits.

Fact: Fruit bars have high sugar concentrations and tend to stick to teeth. Chewing real fruit and vegetables especially helps children develop their jaw and tongue muscles. Fruit bars do not have the same form, texture or fiber of a whole fruit and hence both are not equivalents. Fruit bars are okay once in a while but are definitely not recommended on an everyday basis.

Myth: Pesticide residue in fruits increases risk of cancer.

Fact: Pesticide residues are definitely a risk factor for cancer, but most of the researches done on fruits conclude that benefits associated with eating fruits far outweigh any potential risk from pesticides.

Myth: Eating fruits causes diabetes

Fact: Fruit eating does not cause diabetes. Diabetes is actually caused by a high fat diet combined with other factors (some possibly genetic) that cause insulin sensitivity. In fact, many Type 2 diabetes patients are recommended to have fruits, as they provide fiber. Certain fruits having a high glycaemic index like chickoos, bananas, custard apples, jackfruits, mangos, and grapes are not recommended to diabetics.

Myth: Fruits are expensive.

Fact: Make a list of junk foods and carbonated beverages that you purchase every supermarket trip. Also list out fruits that you purchase. Do a cost analysis and you will be surprised to see how much more you spend on the not-so-healthy foods. If you are planning to invest in your health, then fruits are definitely a yes!

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