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Sunday, 11 May 2014

Gretchen Becker: Fruit: Good or Bad for People with Diabetes.

How many times have you read recently that you should eat more fruits and vegetables? It’s today’s fad  mantra. Want to lose weight? Eat more fruits and vegetables. Feeling sad? Eat more fruits and vegetables. Credit card maxed out? Eat more fruits and vegetables.

Sometimes I think we should just make it one word:fruitsandvegetables. When I read one article that claimed that people in previous centuries ate lots offruitsandvegetables my tolerance limit was reached.
That’s idiotic!
Sure, there wasn’t as much junk food in past centuries. But then, as now, poor people couldn’t afford expensive fruits, or even vegetables unless they grew their own. Oranges were considered a rare luxury. Then, as now, poor people had to eat a lot of starches like bread and potatoes to get sufficient calories.
Even rich people didn’t feast on lots of fruitsandvegetables. Here’s a menu (English translation) from Queen Victoria’s household on her 80th birthday. I don’t see a lot of fruits there. A few vegetables, but mostly meat and fish and eggs.
Here’s an article describing what people ate in Boston restaurants in the 19th century. Like Queen Victoria’s household menu, the restaurants seemed heavy on lots of meat courses, thick sauces, and pastry. Certainly not what today’s nutritionists would recommend. Not a lot of emphasis on salads. Fruit was offered at the end, but only after a pastry course.
Here’s another 19th century menu so heavy on meats that it makes me slightly nauseous to read it . . . and I’m on a low-carb diet!
They do offer some fruit at the end, but by that time you’d probably be so stuffed with meat, game birds, lobster, and fish that you wouldn’t have much room to stuff yourself with fruit. I have nothing against eating more vegetables, limiting them to the low-carb ones like greens and other above-ground vegetables except peas and corn if you have diabetes.
But fruits are full of sugar.
If you have diabetes, it’s not a good idea to eat a lot of fruit. It’s time we came to our senses and got rid of the fruitsandvegetables mantra. It’s time we stopped thinking of some past Golden Age when everyone ate lots of lean meat (people in the 19th century would have guffawed at the idea of lean meat; they added bacon or lard to meat to make it juicier) and fruitsandvegetables and low-fat dairy and had glowing skin and never got fat.
Let’s separate fruits from vegetables and eat less of the former and more of the latter. Let’s focus on the carb counts of foods rather than whether they’re fruitsandvegetables or other things. Let’s control our diabetes by finding out what foods make our blood glucose levels go up instead of listening to idiotic fad mantras.
We’re smarter than fruitsandvegetables, right?
From my own experience I agree with Gretchen, I can handle most berries but other fruits like oranges, pears etc. give me unacceptably high blood sugar levels.


Almond said...

Fruitsabdvegetables... Well, I certainly get enough of that in my LC diet. Coffee bean fount as a fruit right?

tess said...

"credit card maxed out? eat more fruits and vegetables."

...i wish our governing classes would convert to conventional dietary wisdom -- society would be a lot better off.

Almond said...


Lori Miller said...

Fruit is one of the worst things for giving me acid reflux. When I started LC, even anything fruit flavored would would do it. I've gotten to the point where I can't stand the smell of most fruit or fruity perfumes.

I'm sure you've read that Dr. Bernstein hasn't had a piece of fruit since 1970. Good for him!

Unknown said...

Great post and so true! This mantra is just parroted ad nauseum, mainly by so called experts who probably have never had a weight problem or heading for diabetes. I gave up sugar and then started eating tons of fruits and then realised I was still hooked on sugar. Since cutting out all sugar cravings..and weight maintenance so much easier.

Galina L. said...

Fruits belongs to the category of food indulgences, much better than pastry, cookies and candies, but still not the actual food, more likely a natural desert. What is the point to tell people "Eat bigger deserts and snack on sweet things more often"?

Anonymous said...

I do like eating a little fruit and find blue berries, raspberries and strawberries in small quantaties do not take my blood sugar levels high.


Anonymous said...

Having children in the family we always have a fruit bowl in the house. I see no reason why fruit cannot be included in daily eating habits.

I don't think just eating fruit is good vegetables should be included, as should be meat, fish and dairy.

A varied choice to suit each is what I'm saying.

Diabetics nead to take care, watch their meter, stay as healthy as possible HbA1c below 6.0 for me.

Paul B