A decontextualised reading about some of the current trends in dietetic research casts a shadow of doubt over the eating of fruit. Are we doing the right thing by eliminating fruit from our diet just because it contains sugar? The answer is ‘no’, and I’ll tell you why in this post.
That we should encourage the consumption of certain food groups among the general population is beyond doubt. One of these groups is that comprising fruits. However, there are people with a biased view of the situation who criminalise their consumption, given that their sugar content is one of their shared characteristics… Let us analyse this kind of reasoning. Is it true that fruits are characterised as contributors of sugar?
Fruit inside (and we don’t mean the stone)
With so many different types of fruit, and so many varieties therein, it becomes quite complicated to talk about their nutritional content given that it will always be possible to find exceptions and nuances need to be introduced for specific cases. In any case, if fruits, generically speaking, are characterised by one thing, it is for containing very few calories per unit of weight. In fact, in a subjective evaluation, 99% of fruits are below, or well below, 90 kcal per 100 grams. This piece of data is of major relevance because what we derive from it is that fruits do not have large quantities of any of the three main macronutrients (fat, proteins or carbohydrates –the generic group to which sugars belong–). These three elements are generally, the only ones responsible for providing calories to a foodstuff. In fact, the calories we attribute to whatever product depend almost exclusively on the proportion of the aforementioned macronutrients (also called immediate principles). Therefore, the most important thing, quantatively speaking, in the weight of fruits is the only possible one, water. Fruit is, in general, very rich in water and poor in macronutrients.