My battle with food is really a battle with sugar. It’s less about battling food, cravings and temptations and more about trying to resist the hold SUGAR has on me.
Put a bag of chips in front of me and I can walk away without feeling any twinge. Eat a piece of cheesecake in front of me and I might gnaw off your arm to try and get to it, though. The same goes for fruit. I love fruit. When I buy the packages of fresh strawberries at the grocery store that package lasts about two days tops. Blueberries? Gone in a day.
Livestrong.com recommends no more than 100 calories a day in sugar (for women). “However, MayoClinic.com suggests eating a diet rich in foods with naturally occurring sugar, such as fruits, because they provide your body with essential nutrients. Adults should get at least two to three servings of fruit every day.” 100 calories in sugar a day? That’s one banana! Yikes!
Since I eat a lot of fruit my sugar intake is usually pretty high. Last year I consulted with a nutritionist to see if how I was eating was good. She said I was doing well and that I shouldn’t care about the sugar content in fruit because fruit is healthy and a good part of a healthy diet.
The good news: I get most of my sugar from fruit. For example, for my morning snack yesterday I ate a small Gala apple (80 calories, 17 grams of sugar) and for the afternoon snack I had a Chobani Black Cherry Yogurt (150 calories, 21 grams of sugar). I usually have plain yogurt but had some cherry I needed to eat. That’ s a lot of sugar but the apple is healthy in my book. It’s GOOD sugar.
The main reason I disliked the Four Hour Body Diet experiment that Michael and I did recently was the fact that I could not eat any fruit on the diet. I hated this. It was too hard for me. I LIKE fruit. I stand firm in my belief that fruit is GOOD FOR YOU.
Fruit is supposed to be healthy. It is healthy. But it’s also pretty high in sugar. I found a list detailing what fruit is lowest and highest in sugar. This was quite eye-opening for me. I suppose I just assumed all fruit was the same. And fruit was healthy, so who cares? The reason I care is that I’ve been noticing lately that I feel differently when I eat certain foods.
As a runner I loved bananas. I’d eat them pre-run and be happy. I never put two and two together when I’d become HUNGRY mid-run. It wasn’t until a few months ago when I complained on my blog (and Twitter) about bananas making me hungrier than other things. The answer? SUGAR. Apparently bananas are super high in sugar: sucrose, fructose and glucose. No other fruit contain more digestible carbohydrates than bananas. Why does this matter? If I eat a banana without protein and fiber (peanut butter works for me) to slow its digestion, I am getting an insulin spike. The insulin spike is to deal with the sugar from the carb-rich banana and it tells my body that I am hungry. Bad idea when I’m mid-workout and ready to crash from hunger!
The following is the list I found detailing the sugar in fruit.
Fruits Lowest in Sugar
- Lemon and Lime
–>So happy that raspberries and blackberries are the lowest in sugar. Two of my favorite things in the summertime!
- Honeydew melons
- Apricots (fresh, not dried)
Fruits with Medium-High Sugar Content
Fruits with Highest Sugar Content
- Dried fruit (raisins, dried apricots, prunes)
–> Man! Bananas, grapes and cherries are my favorites! And they are the highest!
I’m still going to be eating fruit, and a lot of it. If I’m craving sugar and my choices are a high calories dessert or a bowl of cherries? I’m going to try and pick the cherries (hey I’m human, I like REAL dessert once in awhile). I AM going to rethink bananas though. I’ve been slowly buying less and less bananas to eat as snacks because of what it does to my body.
QUESTION: Do you notice a change in your body when you eat high sugar fruits? Do you avoid these things?