Fruits and a Sexy Tummy

Having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is import for not only their anti-oxidants and fibre benefits, but also for creating an alkaline environment in the body. Maintaining an alkaline environment is important for bone mass and muscle tissue. Acidic environments are noted in several diseases in the human body.

Are There Fruits That I Should Avoid?

All fresh, whole foods have numerous benefits. They do vary slightly in glucose and fructose content. The ones to limit are dried fruits, dehydrated fruits, canned, and fruit juices due to their high sugar content and preservatives. Frozen fruits are good, fresh, organic fruit is best. FRESH IS BEST…..THE CLOSER TO NATURE THE BETTER!!!!

Are There Fruits That Are Better Than Others?

The darker the fruit, the better it is for you. Dark fruit have thin skin, meaning they need to produce more antioxidants to protect themselves from the sun. This is also true for the glycemic load of dark fruit; the darker the lower the glycemic load.

Does Fruit Affect Blood Sugar Levels?

NO! Surprised? All food have an effect on blood sugar levels but not all have an effect on insulin levels. Fruit does not send your blood sugars sky-high, but because it doesn’t affect your insulin levels, the fruit is not getting into the muscle where it needs to be to be used as a carb. It therefore is used to fill up your liver storage. If you eat too much, the extra fructose will be stored as fat……but I have never ever met anyone that said “oh geez today I ate way too much fruit” OR “I blame the watermelon for my size 50 pants”. Don’t be afraid of real fruit.

What Is Fructose? And Is It Bad For You?

Fructose is a simple carbohydrate or sugar. In the liver, fructose is converted to glucose and stored as liver glycogen. The liver can only use and store so much fructose as glycogen at one time. The remainder will be stored as fat.

Research shows that getting a large portion of carbohydrates from fructose results in visceral belly fat gain, reduced insulin sensitivity, less fat burning, and a lower metabolic rate…NOT GOOD!

Another reason fructose is often frowned upon is for the simple reason that the liver prefers to use fructose as energy over glucose. What that means is our body will use fructose (fruit) to first replenish our liver glycogen stores before replenishing our muscle glycogen stores. Fruit can replenish muscle glycogen, it just takes longer because the liver will fill itself up first.

That is the reason bodybuilders and fitness competitors will cut out fruits closer to contest time, as they want to replenish their muscle glycogen first rather than their liver to ensure fast delivery of nutrients for growth and repair to muscle tissue. The liver will steal the fructose in the fruit and store it, rather than use it in the body for repair. But what people fail to understand is you cannot be completely depleted of liver glycogen and ‘top-up’ just your muscle glycogen.

My Top 5 Fruit Choices For A Flat Belly

Grapefruit excellent source of vitamins and phytochemicals, rich in vitamin c, antioxidants and fibre. The reason I love grapefruit and have it daily, is the effect on regulating blood sugars and is theorized to help metabolize and burn fat.

Mixed Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)- another excellent source of vitamins (rich in vitamin c), anti-oxidants, phytochemicals and fibre. I love berries for their taste, low GI scale and few calories.

Apple- an apple a day…you know the rest. This is made true for their high vitamin B-complex, vitamin c, phytonutrients and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and potassium.

Orange- Like all citrus fruits, oranges are high in vitamin c, and also contain a rich amount of vitamin A. Oranges are high in fibre pectin which is known for its laxative-like quality  that protects the colon and helps to lower cholesterol.

Cranberries-This fruit is wonderful as an anti-inflammatory and kidney protector, known for its protection against urinary tract infection.

FUN FACT: Tomato is a fruit, but is often referred to as a vegetable. I do not include tomato or avocado as part of the 2 fruit rule because of its low sugar content.

FUN FACT: Avocado is also a fruit but I use it as a fat source rather than a fruit.

Bottom line, fruit has many benefits but it is crucial to keep fruit to a MINIMUM if you are looking to get down to those VERY low body fat figures. If you are currently over weight you do not need to fear eating fruit, especially when you crave something sweet a fruit is the best option to choose. For us non-competitive people we can only benefit from healthy fruits and eating between 1 and 4 servings of fresh fruit per day, especially mid-morning and mid-afternoons during snack times it can really help with our weight loss efforts…..have an apple before you have a slice of bread I say!!!!