For many years in a row, the fruits, together with vegetables, have been considered to be the healthiest foods that exist. We are sure you have heard “Eat more fruits and vegetables” at least once in your lifetime. 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 fructose, which is a type of sugar.
As a child, I have never liked eating fruits because I was more interested in chocolate and candy. However, since I started gaining more knowledge about processed sweets and their health impact, I’ve been trying to eat fruit every time I crave something sweet. This way, I feel healthier and less guilty.
Yet, as many people claim that fruits can be actually bad for you, I started to wonder: Is that really true? Is there anything sweet that I can eat and don’t feel guilty? If you are wondering the same, keep reading.
Table of Contents
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?
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 vitamins C and E, zinc, potassium ). Those may support your immune system and boost your body’s protective function against oxidative stress and cells damage. 
May increase your energy levels
Fruits are rich in fructose, which gives your body immediate energy to support the proper functions of your brain and organs. Additional benefit that fruits offer you is related to the fact that they are low calorie dense, but rich in fiber, which makes them great long lasting energy source. 
- Healthy heart
Most fruits have low fat and sodium content, and are cholesterol free! This way, they are not associated with with increased bad cholesterol and arteries buildup. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends fruits and vegetables rich diet to support heart health and decrease the risk of coronary diseases. 
- Glowing skin
The antioxidants in fruits (like vitamin C and E) may protect the skin from free radicals damage and relieve skin inflammations. Evidence show that the diet rich in fruits and vegetables can have a positive effect on various skin conditions like aging, acne, inflammation, psoriasis, and even cancer. 
- Weight management
Recent evidence suggests 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 micronutrients abundance, fruits may not lead to obesity, and can play role in prevention and management of obesity-related diseases. 
Why are fruits 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. Both fructose and sugar are broken down to glucose in the body, and 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 have low-to-medium glycemic index. This way, fresh fruits don’t cause sharp spikes in the blood sugar levels.
Fiber, in particular, may slower the metabolization of fructose and support balanced blood sugar levels, while helping to you maintain healthy weight and energy. 
On the other hand, there is a case when fruits CAN BE not as healthy. Why? There are 2 options:
You have eaten too much fruit.
Then your body receives too much fructose, it simply needs to store it 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 (varying between age, sex, physical activity, and health condition).  If you manage to consume the right amount of fruits, you can lower the risk of weight gain and get the most benefits out of your diet.
“Eat” fruit in its unnatural form.
Popular unnatural forms of fresh fruit include dried fruit and juice.
Recent evidence associates 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 no fiber content. Even the freshly squeezed juice contains no fiber as the pulp and skin of the fruit are removed. 
In that sense, processed juice cannot offer you any significant health benefits, and freshly squeezed unprocessed juice can provide you with less health effects than fresh fruit. The reason for this is that juice is mainly water with fructose (or sugar and other additives) and contains very little amount of vitamins and minerals. As a result, frequent juice consumption can be associated with increased risk of obesity and pre-diabetic condition. 
Are smoothies good for you?
The smoothies are not considered as an unnatural form of the fruits, as they are made by blended whole fruits. That means that the smoothies still contain lots of fiber, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, studies show that the consumption of 100% fruit smoothies without additives may have positive effect on overall health 
Should you eat fruits every day?
Enjoy your favorite fruits! Fruits are 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!