Working with a client on her food journal we had hoped to find a way out of the plateau that was causing this wonderful woman to feel fed up, low and lethargic. Encouraged that paleo works and the successes we have had, experience tells us this problem can be as a result of one or several factors. And sure enough, there it was, nestled in the midst of her food journal entries: FRUIT: grapes, apples, pears were being consumed with a passion at any time of day or night, snacking and not always with a meal. The point is some fruits in particular grapes and dates contain pure glucose as well as fructose and are therefore faster releasing into the blood stream. This in turns causes blood sugar to spike giving a short lived lift in mood and energy surge, the problem is any surge is followed by a rapid fall as the body fights to balance blood sugar.
We talked a little about this about the journal entries and the pattern of food consumption. It was apparent that the fruit had become her prop (treat) and the learned behavior, that thought that we deserve a treat to give ourselves a little boost was still forming a big part of her routine. To such an extent when days were really bad my friend was literally “gorging” on fruit to deal with the issues instead of… well, dealing with the issues. Fine if you’re a mountain gorilla but we’re not mountain gorillas. This can be such a deep pattern of ingrained behavior it can be hard to spot and it’s only fruit after all…......?
When we think of fruit, fructose, fruit sugar we often associate it with healthy eating. Indeed, some diets recommend we purchase fructose as a sweetener in our food. Some diets even encourage us to eat fruit as a ‘free food’. But the fruit we eat today is very different from that which was present a generation ago let alone in our ancestor’s time. Our fruit is selected and bred for its sweetness, shape and appearance. Historically the fruit we ate was seasonal, lower in sugar and higher in fibre.
Over eating fruit causes over consumption of fructose. Excessive consumption of fructose causes increases in uric acid levels (which raise blood pressure and can lead to gout), raises triglycerides (which elevates risk factors for heart disease) decreases leptin entry into the hypothalamus (leading to prolonged feelings of hunger) leads to weight gain, induces insulin resistance and high levels over a long period may cause fatty liver.
Fruit is not the answer for weight loss due to the presence of fructose. Cut back on fruit if you are overweight or having trouble shifting the weight whilst eating above average amount of fruit in your daily life.