Fruit is a great source of fibre, energy, vitamins and minerals, and we know that a balance of fruit and vegetables is crucial in a healthy diet. But if you’re anything like us, you’ll have caught wind of the debates surrounding its sugar content.
We asked Joel Feren, director of Hearty Nutrition and member of the Dieticians Association of Australia, to dish up the facts.
‘We need to differentiate between the sugars found in things like lollies, cordials and fruit juice – those types of processed foods – and the sugars found naturally in things like fruit and dairy,’ he explains.
We shouldn’t be throwing the baby out with the bathwater, he points out.
‘Yes, there’s some sugar in fruit, not a whole lot, but we shouldn’t be excluding it from our diet just because it contains a little bit.
‘Studies show that people who include more fruit in their diet are better able to maintain their weight, have less incidence of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, and even type 2 diabetes.’
He points out that the real challenge we’re facing is that people aren’t consuming enough fruit.
‘Worryingly, just 54 per cent of the population actually meet their fruit requirements. We’re really falling short.’
So how do we up our fruit intake in the healthiest way? We asked Joel to rank the benefits of four different ways to consume fruit.