The Benefits of Eating Whole Fruit

By Steve Edwards

Whole fruitA new study has shown eating whole fruit could be the main dietary difference between normal weight and obese and overweight individuals. And that would be whole fruit, not juice, jam, smoothies, or fruit-filled dessert items. Let's give Mother Nature some love; she knew what she was doing.

A recent study at the University of Southern California showed that the main difference between 52 normal-weight adults and 52 overweight and obese adults was the amount of fiber in their diet, which mainly came from fruit.

Figs"These findings suggest that the composition of a diet, especially low dietary fiber and fruit intake, plays a role in the (development) of obesity," concluded the study team in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

In the study, the normal-weight group consumed an average of 33 percent more fiber and 43 percent more carbohydrates than their overweight counterparts. This balanced approach is at odds with most fad diets, and suggests that fiber, much more than eating low carb or low fat, is responsible for controlling weight.

NectarinesIn today's marketplace fruit is often altered, most commonly in a juiced state. A Jamba Juice employee complained after my juice article a few weeks back that they used real fruit and "didn't add sugar," in contesting my nutritional breakdown of their products (which, incidentally, came from their own Web site). This is the type of training she had been given, which leaves out the rather important fact that fruit, when turned into juice, is mainly sugar. In nature, it's surrounded with a generous layer of fiber, which slows the sugar's absorption into our system, regulates our appetites, and also, it would seem, helps us become thinner and healthier.

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