For many years, fruits, together with vegetables, have been considered to be the healthiest foods out there. We are sure you have heard “Eat more fruits and vegetables” at least once in your life. But lately, we have seen speculations that fruits are not as healthy as they are advertised to be. The concern comes from the fact that fruits contain a mix of sugars including fructose, which can impact your blood glucose/sugar levels.
As many people are claiming that fruits can be actually bad for you, we started to wonder: Is that really true? Is there anything sweet that you can eat without feeling guilty? If you are wondering the same, keep reading.
What are fruits?
Fruits are natural (often sweet tasting) food that is usually eaten raw or used in cooking. There are many different types of fruits, which grow in specific regions (for example, oranges grow only in warm-climate areas). As a result, many companies export and import fruits to make sure every country has the opportunity to consume delicious fruits from other parts of the world.
Why are fruits healthy?
All fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and fiber ( different types of fruits are rich in different micronutrients, but we will share more about that in paragraphs below).
Evidence shows that the regular consumption of fruits may benefit your overall health and wellbeing :
May boost the immune system and balance body functions
The consumption of fruits can supply your body with natural micronutrients, which are often under-consumed (like vitamin C and potassium). Those may support your immune system and boost your body’s protective functions against oxidative stress and cell damage. 
Most fruits have low fat and sodium content and are cholesterol-free! This way, they are not associated with increased total cholesterol and artery buildup. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to support heart health and decrease the risk of coronary diseases. 
The antioxidants in fruits (like vitamin A and C) may protect the skin from free radical damage and relieve skin inflammations. Evidence shows that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may have a positive effect on various skin conditions like aging, acne, inflammation, psoriasis, and even cancer. 
Recent evidence suggests that the consumption of fresh fruit (together with additional factors) can be associated with improved weight control and reduced risk of obesity. Due to low-calorie load, high fiber content, and micronutrient abundance, fruits are unlikely to lead to obesity (contrary to allegations), but can even play a role in prevention and management of obesity-related diseases. 
Why are fruits considered unhealthy?
It’s a well-known fact that too much sugar is bad for your health.  In that sense, fruits contain fructose, which is a particular type of sugar. To clarify, fructose can convert in glucose, while regular sugar (also called sucrose) is broken down in glucose and fructose when metabolized. This is the reason why many people believe that there is no difference between eating 1 cookie and one banana. But they are not entirely right!
As we mentioned earlier, most fruits are very rich in dietary fiber and are low-to-medium on the glycemic index. This means that most fresh fruits are unlikely to cause sharp spikes in blood sugar levels in healthy individuals.
On the other hand, there are cases when fruits CAN BE a concern to your health. Why? There are 2 possibilities:
You have eaten too much fruit.
When your body receives too much fructose, it simply needs to store it. Excess calories and glucose are usually stored as fat.
So, how much fruit to eat per day?
According to the USDA, the average recommended portion of fruit is about 1 and 1/2 cups per day (varying between age, sex, physical activity, and health condition).  If you regularly consume fruits as part of a balanced diet, you can lower the risk of weight gain and get the most benefits out of your diet.
That being said, consulting your dietitian for advice on how much fruit to eat in a day will help you to get the optimal benefits of this food without overeating.
“Eating” fruit in its unnatural form.
Popular processed forms of fresh fruit include dried fruit and juice.
Recent evidence associated dry fruits with reduced micronutrient and water content. Even though they are still rich in fiber, such fruits may not give you the optimal health related benefits that fresh fruits offer.  On the other hand, American Society of Nutrition suggested a possible link between the consumption of dried fruits and prevention of some types of cancer. 
Several studies have looked into the health effects of fruit juice consumption. Evidence suggests that juice is often filtered, have added water (or even sugar) and have minimal fiber content. Even freshly squeezed juice contains little fiber as the pulp and skin of the fruit are often removed. 
In that sense, both processed and freshly squeezed juice can offer you only limited health benefits, compared to fresh fruit. The reason for this is that juice is mainly water with fructose (or sugar and other additives) and contains reduced amounts of vitamins, minerals, and fiber (sometimes may contain no fiber at all). As a result, frequent juice consumption can be associated with increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.  
Are smoothies good for you?
Smoothies (made with blending whole fruits and without additives) are not considered to be an unnatural form of the fruits. That means that these whole smoothies still contain lots of fiber, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, studies show that the consumption of smoothies made predominantly of fruit (or fruit with water) can promote increased consumption of fruit and may have a positive effect on overall health. 
Should you eat fruits every day?
Yes! Enjoy your favorite fruits! Fruits are an essential part of every balanced and diverse diet, so it’s important to consume them daily, but in moderate amounts! Eat them whole or drink them in a smoothie to get the most benefits out of them!