Hello dear friends!
A while back, I wrote a blog about a certain “F word” that many people fear (often to the detriment of their health), and today I wanted to talk about another one. Over the last few years, the medical and alternative healing communities have all shifted their focus to one big bad thing- sugar. Everyone is convinced that they have Candida, or oncoming diabetes, or another hot disease of the moment, and that the only way to cure it is by completely eliminating sugar from their diets. And for the most part, I wholeheartedly agree. Since most people get their sweetness in the form of highly processed, artificial ingredients, and the only kind of dessert they know of comes from a box or bakery. The “experts” are right about this one- these kinds of “foods” can absolutely throw your body into chaos and cause all sorts of metabolic, hormonal, and nervous system issues.
However, the one thing that I find myself at odds with is the needless crucifixion of fruit (this is the other “F word” people fear, in case you were wondering), and the mass hysteria that has spread around their nutritious and natural sugars. If you were to go to an average nutritionist or naturopath today, and complain of just about anything- fatigue, weight gain, depression, you name it- they will likely tell you to lay off the sugar, and not just your cakes and candies, but also your “high sugar” fruits like bananas, apples, papayas, pineapples, and many more. So in addition to throwing out your (probably) beloved processed junk food (always a good idea), now you have nothing sweet or nourishing to replace it with (recipe for disaster). What a cruel joke!
Trust me, I’ve been there. As someone who has tried a variety of diets, and most recently has been on the Paleo wagon, I understand the fruit fear. Our culture is always looking for a new food group to vilify, and lately that’s been sugar. Fat is off the hook, as is cholesterol. Meat is definitely making a comeback, and coffee is hailed as a superfood. But we’re getting a little confused about sugar, I think, despite what that pro-HFCS commercial said that “sugar is sugar”, it’s actually not all the same. Our bodies process and assimilate different forms of sugar in different ways, and yes, it matters what other components and nutrients are packaged with it. You wouldn’t compare a glass of drinking water from your Pur filter to the stream running through your neighborhood gutter and shrug, saying, “water is water”. Our intuition knows better, but we’ve just been led to think something differently when it comes to the things we put in our bodies.
I believe that fruit is an innocent casualty in our current war on disease.
I simply want to be another voice, and present different point of view, amidst the sea of anti-fruit crusading. Why have we grown to mistrust such a beautiful and simple thing that comes straight from the earth and sunshine? Fruit is a part of humanity unlike any other food group- the Garden of Eden was filled with fruit trees, after all. We use phrases like “fruits of our labor” and “fruit of our loins” to refer to prosperity, success, and procreation. Things that are good investments are “fruitful”, and when we lower our standards, we settle for “low-hanging fruit”. Such an icon that is so richly steeped in our legends and language, surely cannot be the evil thing that is feeding all our modern diseases, right?
The truth is, fruit is good for you, no matter what the latest diet books say. The other kinds of sugar aren’t. It really is that simple. Because when we strip away all the complicated biochemistry, and throw out all those confusing studies based on poor research designs, we can finally acknowledge that Mother Nature knows what the heck she’s doing. If we can set aside our own human fallacies, our tendency to overanalyze everything, and our arrogance in thinking we can do it better, we realize that everything we need to heal is provided for us in our natural world. Trees, plants, insects, and other animals have been around much longer than we have, and certainly way longer than any nutrition school or Crossfit gym. Just sayin’…
So if you’ve been panicking around pears and weeping around watermelon, I invite you to let go of those fears and start enjoying these delicious fruits again! For me personally, I always feel so much better when I eat plenty of fruit during the day. I have a bit more energy, I tend to eat less processed sugar and chocolate, and am WAY more mentally and emotionally satisfied. And I haven’t gained any weight, or broken out in blemishes, or had any GI upset at all. Fruits are awesome, especially in their raw state, packed with hydration, vitamins, and minerals…not to mention easy to take with you on the go so you don’t end up reaching for that candy bar or cheeseburger later when you’re famished.
And with that, dear friends, I’ll pop another delectable grape in my mouth and sign off. Go eat some fruit!
~ Hoping you feel as well as possible ~