Many studies have already reported the undesirable effects on blood sugar and weight gain from consuming excess fructose.
This may be why many Paleo experts have condemned fruit—perhaps before giving it a fair trial.
Here’s where the mistake lies: Most of these studies were done on either high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or concentrated fruit juices, and not whole fruits.
Whole fruits, on the other hand, are linked to weight loss and lower blood sugar!
The results of a recent study in China that followed nearly 500,000 people for around seven years showed that fruit actually lowers the risk of diabetes. Researchers found that the population that ate the most fruit saw a two percent reduction in diabetes risk.
In those who ate more fruit and were already diagnosed as diabetic, they saw an almost two percent reduction in mortality. This was a striking result because fruits are restricted for diabetics in most parts of Asia.
In a recent meta-analysis where three studies on fruits were evaluated, greater consumption of certain whole fruits—particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples—is significantly associated with a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes.
In the same study, they found that the regular consumption of fruit juice was associated with a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Eat Fruit to Lose Weight.
Fruit contains large amounts of simple sugars (glucose, fructose, sucrose, and so on), which are well known to induce obesity. Thus, considering the amount of simple sugars found in fruit, it is reasonable to expect that their consumption would contribute to weight gain rather than weight reduction.
However, epidemiological research has consistently shown that most types of fruit have anti-obesity effects, and once again, this only applies to whole fruits and not fruit sugars.
Ayurvedic Fruit Paste.
Ten normal, healthy, adult male volunteers (ages 20-32 years) participated in the 16-week study. They were placed randomly in either a chyawanprash group or vitamin C group. Those in the chyawanprash group received about a tablespoon of chyawanprash per day, while those in the vitamin C group received 500mg of vitamin C per day.
Both groups were supplemented for eight weeks during the study and then given no supplements for the next eight weeks. For evaluation purposes, both groups were given an oral glucose tolerance test and lipoprotein profile performed at 0 weeks, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks.
At eight weeks, in the chyawanprash supplemented group, the researchers observed significant changes in both the blood sugar and cholesterol results compared to the results of week 0.
At eight weeks, in the vitamin C supplemented group, the researchers observed significant change in only their LDL/HDL cholesterol ratios compared to the results of week 0.
Ayurvedic Fruit-Eating Rules.
- Have fruit as a meal, separate from other foods, during the warmer months of the year.
- Have fruit as a snack when a meal was not enough.
- Save the less sweet fruits to have with other foods. See a Sugar Content of Fruit chart here.
- Save the sweeter fruits to have as a meal, separate from other foods.
Learn more about what Ayurveda says about fruit here.
Author: Dr. John Douillard
Image: Unsplash/Clem Onojeghuo
Editor: Travis May