Where High-Fat, Low Carb Diets Are Getting It Wrong

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The Key Food That High-Fat, Low Carb Diets Are Making A Mistake

In general we’re fans of high-fat, low-carb eating (such as the Paleo or Bulletproof Diets,) as a way to maintain a healthy weight, heal the gut and generally feel better in the body. (Find out if one of these diets is for you.) There’s a lot to love about this way of eating including prioritizing meals made with whole food, organic and non-GMO ingredients, and cutting out refined sugar. Continually research shows that ditching processed foods is the best way to balance blood sugar levels, improve sleep, sustain energy levels and more. Even with these benefits, there’s one area where high-fat, low carb diets are getting it wrong: fruit.

Should You Be Cutting Fruit Out Too?

To keep carbs in check and minimize fructose intake (that’s fruit sugar) low-carb diets can recommend cutting fruit out entirely or only eating fruit that’s lower on the glycemic index like green apples and berries. Not only does this significantly limit your ability to celebrate nature’s bounty (watermelon, anyone?) not eating fruit is also not a smooth health move.

Fruits and vegetables both come packaged with innumerable health benefits we have only begun to define,” said Dana Hunnes, Ph.D., R.D., senior dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles to Consumer Reports.

“But you can actually get higher quantities of some nutrients per fruit than in the same amount of vegetables.”

Natural Sugars Should Not Be Treated Like Processed Sugars

Sure, fruit has natural sugars in it but eating a pear is not the same as downing a bag of Skittles. One is packed with nutrients and the other is well, not.

“Although the natural sugar in fruit is chemically similar to table sugar, our bodies process whole fruit differently because of the fiber, phytochemicals, and micronutrients,” said Hannah Meier, R.D., a research associate at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston to Consumer Reports. “Fiber slows the rate that the natural sugars are released into the bloodstream, preventing the spikes and crashes that might otherwise be experienced after eating a sugary treat.”

Here’s Why Eating Fruit Can Help Maintain A Healthy Weight

Can eating fruit help maintain weight? Yes, eating fruit can actually help you maintain a healthy weight. It’s packed with fiber, which supports satiety, and can be a responsible way to address sugar cravings. Even diabetics aren’t advised to go off fruit entirely.

“We tell diabetics to be mindful of portion sizes of fruit and count them as part of their carbohydrate intake,” Hunnes says. “But overly limiting fruit is dangerous because you’re cutting out vitamins, minerals, fiber, and extra water you could be getting in your diet.”

So go ahead and pile on the peaches, go wild for watermelon, say yes to yuzu and whatever other fruits call to you, your body will thank you for it even if you are on one of those low carb diets!