Myth Busting: Fruit is Bad for You

Food and fitness trends come and go and come back again, and the idea that fruit is bad for you and that it should be avoided if you’re trying to “be healthy” and “get fit” is one of the the popular ones. The culprit, of course, is the sugar that occurs naturally in fruit. And everyone knows that sugar is bad. Therefore, fruit must be bad. Here’s why that conclusion is missing about 99% of the story, and why fruit should absolutely be part of your diet.

But… the Sugar!

We *just* published an entire post about the hidden sugar bomb lurking in your favorite smoothie and yes, it’s important to be aware of how much sugar you’re consuming. And while sugar is sugar, fruit has a built-in system that offsets the health risks in a way processed sugar does not. If you’re thinking fiber, you’re correct. Fruit has both soluble and insoluble fiber, which work together in the digestive system to actually prevent the absorption of much of the fruit’s sugar. Instead, it’s quickly shuttled along to the latter parts of the digestive tract that trillions of gut microorganisms call home. And these guys love sugar, so they get right to work ingesting and metabolizing it, which means less sugar absorption for you.

The combo of soluble and insoluble fiber plays another role here too, signaling to your brain that you’re full faster than it does with foods that are lacking in fiber. In other words, eating fruit is a little self-limiting—you’re unlikely to overindulge. Maybe that’s why research has found that enjoying whole fruits is linked to a reduced risk of obesity and other metabolic diseases.

Obligatory Caveat

Enjoying fruit doesn’t extend to fruit juice, which has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes. As for fruit smoothies, choose wisely, my friend. If your smoothie is more milkshake than a blend of whole fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, spices, and proteins, well, you may want to consider it more of a dessert or treat than anything else. And be clear—smoothies can taste “healthy” but still be loaded with fruit purees, sorbets, concentrates, and powders. Anything at Jamba Juice or even packaged smoothies like Odwalla have eye-popping amounts of added sugar with very little fiber, so check. that. label.

The truth is, there are healthy smoothies to be enjoyed, and yes, fruit is part of it! And if you’re fretting that blending fruit somehow breaks down the fiber and renders it useless, good news—the blending process is similar to chewing. Unlike juicing, which significantly reduces fiber, blending just chops it up in smaller bits and pieces. While eating whole foods is probably always the very best option in terms of optimum fiber absorption, a smoothie that’s made with the same whole foods is a very close second.

What we’re saying is, you’re going to be just fine with a Bumpin Blends smoothie, so don’t panic about the sugar in the fruit. Unlike most options, our blends are dietitian-formulated to be truly functional. They don’t just taste great—they work to support specific symptoms with all kinds of key ingredients that are chock-full of beneficial nutrients. Adding unnecessary sugar to that would just undo the entire point of a Bumpin Blends smoothie, so you can be confident that the fruits in our recipes are playing a critical role.

TL:DR—if your entire diet is made up of fruit and fruit alone, then yes, you’re missing out on key macros and nutrients, like protein, iron, calcium, vitamins B and D, zinc, and omega 3s. But if fruit (real fruit—blended up or enjoyed whole) is a regular part of your overall diet or you’re enjoying it in your favorite Bumpin Blends smoothie, then don’t stress about the sugar. You’re good!