Fruits & The 5 A Day Myth

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I always wondered how the US Food Guidelines came up with the recommendation of eating 5 servings of fruit and vegetables everyday. In the video below Dr. Zoe Harcombe (PhD in public health nutrition) explains how this idea of eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily has no science to back it up.

I should have known it was just a marketing gimmick by the companies that what you to eat more fruits and veggies.

Is this really a big deal? I mean fruits and vegetables are really healthy and we should eat more, right?

If you are healthy, go for it. If you have insulin resistance, fruit isn’t your friend.

In the video, Harcombe explains that fruit isn’t as nutritious as we’ve been told. What fruits lack in vitamins and minerals they make up with an abundance of sugar and fructose. People, especially women, tend to over eat fruit (because of that sweetness) and limit or skip the more nutritious vegetables.

For me, I made the decision to severely restrict fruit when I started eating low carb, high fat (LCHF). Thanks to insulin resistance, my metabolism was broken. The only way to start reclaiming my health was to go strict LCHF (no more than 20g of net carbs a day). Given my level of insulin resistance, fruit wasn’t going to help me do that.

Not all fruit is horrible.  Berries provide enough of a benefit that outweigh the rising insulin.  However I follow 2 rules strictly when eating berries:

  1. I always eat fruit with a fat, like cream, to minimize the insulin response.
  2. I rarely eat berries, because fruit is nature’s candy.

Do I miss fruit? Sometimes. Bananas were my favorite, but not anymore. They are pure sugar. Cherries, peaches, kiwi and apples are missed. At some point I’d love to enjoy them again, but I also understand that I’m dealing with decades of damage to my metabolic system.

I may never “cure” my insulin resistance. The best I may hope for is increasing my sensitivity to carbs.  Which means I’ll never eat the 2-4 servings a day recommended by our government as part of a “healthy” diet.

I’ll enjoy those missed fruits again, but only on my terms — as rare, special treats … and always with fat.

2 thoughts on “Fruits & The 5 A Day Myth

    • Yeah, a lot of things we are taught about nutrition in the last 50 years seem to be more marketing than science. Yet the things our grandparents taught us (you know, common sense) that we’ve discarded because we’re far more enlightened, turns out to be true.

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