Healthy Carbs & Fiber:
No carbs? What about vegetables – aren’t those carbs?
“Those carbs, especially the ones in leafy green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, are tied up with indigestible fiber, so they take longer to break down. The fiber essentially slows down the process, causing a slower funneling of glucose into the bloodstream. Plus, vegetables contain more water relative to their weight than starches, and this further dampens the blood sugar response. When we eat whole fruits, which obviously contain fruit sugar, the water and fiber will also ‘dilute’ the blood sugar effect. If you take, for instance, a peach and baked potato of equal weight, the potato will have a much bigger effect on blood sugar than the watery, fibrous peach. That’s not to say the peach, or any other fruit for that matter, won’t cause problems…” ~ Grain Brain, David Perlmutter
Let’s Talk About Fruit:
Why should we limit our fruit intake?
Fruit is the “healthy dessert”, full of nutrients & vitamins, & hey- fruit is one of the main foods that helped me turn Paleo! I was craving the sweets that I couldn’t eat, & I swear fruit saved me by being there for me throughout the process. If this method is only used to help you become Paleo, & you eat the fruit instead of the donuts, cupcakes, bagels, then YES! Definitely choose fruit each time!
We just want to make sure that fruit is not ALL you’re eating. Yes, fruit is “paleo-friendly”, but being Paleo doesn’t mean fruit all day every day! Definitely focus on vegetables, proteins, healthy fats, & of course it’s okay to incorporate fruit, but try to stick with the lower glycemic ones like citrus & berries!
So what’s up with fruit?
Fruit has a lot of sugar; especially in juice form when it can be comparable to soda!
Our ancestors definitely ate fruit, but not nearly as much as we do today; nowadays, we consume A LOT of fructose – from fruit & artificial sources.
Compared to a can of soda, fruit usually has less sugar: a piece of whole fruit such as an apple has approx. 44 calories of sugar along with pectin (fiber) while a 12oz can of soda contains 80 calories of sugar - nearly double!
The caveat, though, is if you juice/liquefy several apples into a 12oz concentrated juice (taking out the fiber) you’ll have 85 sugar calories (next to the 80 in soda). No matter the source, your liver will still convert most of this fructose into fat, sending it directly to fat cells, & the more we consume fructose, especially if it’s in every single meal, our bodies get used to converting fructose to fat. This then becomes completely normal for our bodies, & this is NOT what we want!
Author Gary Taubes in Why We Get Fatwrites: “…even though fructose has no immediate effect on blood sugar and insulin, over time – maybe a few years – it is a likely cause of insulin resistance and thus the increased storage of calories as fat. The needle on our fuel-partitioning gauge will point toward fat storage, even if it didn’t start out that way.”
As mentioned before, eating fruit & natural sugars can definitely help with the transition into Paleo. Although you may find yourself eating more to keep yourself from eating other non-Paleo foods, try to limit yourself because a lot of fruit isn’t the best idea either.
Be cautious, eat whole fruit instead of juices, & enjoy your slow journey into Paleo!