Fruit is one of the most controversial foods. Should you eat fruit if you have hypoglycemia? Or should you avoid or minimize it?
It depends which diet expert you listen to. Some tell you to avoid fruit and particularly, fruit juice, because of the (natural) sugar, which can spike your blood sugar. Others say fruit is the most healthy food you can eat, and you should enjoy lots of it.
I’ve heard stories of people healing hypoglycemia, candida, thyroid issues etc eating an 80/10/10 diet, which is largely fruit. They claim the secret is to minimize the amount of fat you eat – then the sugars in fruit will do no harm.
On the other hand, there are those who favor a low-carb or ketogenic diet, who warn again eating fruit because of the carbs.
My own experience with fruit
When I initially recovered from chronic fatigue syndrome and hypoglycemia back in the early 1980’s, I was eating two pieces of fruit a day – usually a banana with breakfast and an apple at lunch time. I wasn’t doing this for any reason except that I was trying to eat intuitively, and I enjoyed eating those two fruits.
My health recovered pretty rapidly and the fruit did me no harm at all – no hypoglycemia symptoms between meals. I was able to go 5 or 6 hours without eating.
Several years later, when I suffered a relapse due to a prolonged period of stress and overwork, I started paying close attention to my diet again.
I started reading and researching, and I came across experts who warned about the sugar in fruit, feeding candida and causing blood sugar issues. So, I cut out fruit completely. I thought, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, no fruit for me, for many years.
Every now and then I would eat an apple (with a meal) and I would feel my blood sugar dropping an hour or two later. So, it seemed I had become sensitive to fruit. It confirmed my opinion that I should avoid fruit.
I even wrote about this in one of my early blog posts, advising people to avoid or minimize fruit.
However, I have now changed my mind about fruit. I have started eating two pieces of fruit again and I believe my health is all the better for it. Furthermore, I suffer no blood sugar issues, as long as I eat the fruit as part of a meal (more on that in a minute).
Fruit is packed with nutrients, which we need for good health
Fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber and probably a whole lot of other beneficial factors that science hasn’t even discovered yet. It is pretty well agreed that the nutrients in fruit can help protect against cancer, heart disease other degenerative diseases. Fruit is good for you. No question about it.
While it might seem to make sense to avoid fruit, due to it’s natural sugars, I now believe the health benefits of fruit outweigh these risks. And we can minimize any blood sugar effect by eating fruit as part of a meal.
(As an aside, I know certain health experts say you should only eat fruit on an empty stomach, to avoid digestive issues. This might be OK if you have a rock solid blood sugar. But if you suffer from hypoglycemia, I do NOT recommend eating fruit on an empty stomach. It definitely can upset your blood sugar if you do that. But much less likely if you eat it with a meal.)
As with everything, moderation is the key. Two pieces of fruit a day, for most people, will be beneficial for your health. But if you think more is better, and start eating 10 pieces a day…. well, you’ve only got yourself to blame if your blood sugar goes haywire!
Should you only eat local fruit, in season?
There’s another popular theory, that you should only eat fruit that is locally grown in your region, and only when it’s in season. The argument is, this is how our ancestors would have eaten fruit – local and in season. They didn’t have access to imported fruit, like we do.
I used to believe this. But I’ve changed my mind. I might be influenced by the fact that I like bananas (and they don’t grow locally where I live) but the more I’ve studied and thought about this, I can’t see why we should not eat imported fruit.
It was in season in the place where it was grown, so why should there be anything wrong with consuming it in another part of the world?
One final thought about fruit
It’s important to eat fruit as ripe as possible. Most fruit sold in supermarkets is picked before it is fully ripe, and f you eat it in this state, it can be more difficult to digest. Wait until it’s fully ripe.
I’ve read some “experts” advising people with hypoglycemia to purposely look for under-ripe fruit, to minimize the sugar content. But this is not wise. Fruit gets more nutritious and easier to digest as it gets riper. Eat is with a meal, and those natural sugars won’t harm you.
If you have been struggling over whether to eat fruit, I hope this has been helpful. You are welcome to comment.