Fruits are delicious, and they’re a healthy part of a balanced diet. They taste great, are convenient to snack on, usually pretty inexpensive, and are really good for you. Biting into a crunchy apple or a luscious peach, slicing up a watermelon, or popping some delectable grapes into your mouth generally tastes great and is something you can feel good about health-wise, or at least in moderation. But did you know that having too much fruit can actually be quite detrimental to your health? Vine Vera thought it best to shed some light on this matter and show you how much fruit is too much, and why you can have too much of a good thing.
How Much Can I Eat?
Dietary guidelines for a 2,000 calorie diet say you should have about two and a half cups of fruit a day. Fruit is good for you, but if you eat more than this amount, it can crowd out all the other important parts of a balanced diet, and leave you with a bit too much sugar in your diet and less room for other important components like protein, grains, and healthy fats like omega 3s.
What Too Much Fruit Will Do to You
If you have too much fruit in your diet, it will probably make it much harder for you to lose weight if you try, and harder to maintain a target weight, due to all the extra calories from sugar most fruits provide. You could rearrange your diet to fit around consuming more than 2 ½ cups of fruit a day and still staying around the recommended 2,000 calories a day (although do remember that this figure is an estimate, and varies a little bit for everyone) if you really wanted to, but then you’d run into problems with your overall health, including other potential beauty barriers like dull skin, ashy complexion, etc.
You may also run into the problem that most commercially available fruit these days isn’t as nutritious as it could be, because it’s often picked well before it’s actually ripe. Furthermore, commercial fruits are usually saturated with pesticides, which can cause irritation, birth defects, and even increase your risk of cancer.
What to Do
Luckily for you, there are most definitely ways to enjoy fruit in moderation without sabotaging your health. For one thing, it’s best to stick to that recommended 2 ½ cup limit, or else you will most definitely be getting too much sugar, if nothing else. Further, try to pick particularly nutritious fruits like citrus; citrus fruits taste great, and are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals, with tons of vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, and a little bit of iron. You can also substitute a little bit of fruit for some veggies; vegetables are high in fiber and low in calories, so reaching for a few extra sticks of celery when you’ve hit your limit of fruit is a good way of balancing things out.
And to avoid pesticides (you really don’t want to be increasing your risks of birth defects and cancer for no good reason) and ensure you get the most nutritious fruit available, spring for organic fruits. Anything you can get from a local farmer’s market is especially likely to be good on those counts, not to mention fresher and tastier.