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Dear Susan: I’m Afraid Fruit Will Make Me Fat

by Susan · 12 comments

This weeks Q&A comes from a SusanCampbellFitness.com subscriber who sent me a message in response to a blog post I wrote about how fruit does not make you fat.

Susan, I just read your message regarding fruit not making you fat and I am writing to tell you that you are wrong. I have been significantly overweight most of my adult life and finally was able to lose much of my excess body fat by doing the Atkins Diet. I avoided all sugars, including fruit, starchy vegetables, and grains and ate mostly meat and vegetables. During this time my cholesterol did not go up from the diet I was eating and I think that by not eating fruit I was able to control my insulin levels better.

I was sort of shocked when I received this message. I had never flat out been told I was wrong before – especially on a subject that is as clear as day to me.

Instead of giving you a bunch of my random thoughts and opinions on why the thought that fruit can make you fat is absolutely ridiculous, I thought I would provide you with something with a little more “meat” behind it (sorry, had to say it) and provide you with some resources.

1. Research study: Amer J Clin Nut 85:1465-1477 2007

Subjects in this group who ate a low fat diet with more fruits and vegetables lost more fat then subjects on a low fat diet only.

Results show that eating extra fruits and vegetables caused subjects to be less hungry. They were also able to eat a greater volume of food because fruits and vegetables are not energy dense (meaning they don’t have a lot of calories per serving).

Eating more fruits and vegetables will help you cut calories and stay full longer, so you’ll lose more belly fat then if you ate whole grains or animal products instead.

Conclusion: Fruit does not make you fat!

2. Research Study: Nutrition. 26: 727-734, 2010

This is more of an epidemiological study where the food diaries of 77 overweight dieters were studied. Results show that those dieters who ate the most fruit both weighed less overall and also lost more weight during their diet.

Results suggest that if we eat more fruit while on a diet we will lose more weight. Those people who eat the most fruit in general will tend to maintain the healthiest weights.

Conclusion: Fruit does not make you fat!

3. Book: Food Rules by Michael Pollen

Pollen lays out 60+ rules for healthy eating that he had gathered from his extensive research conducted from previous books.

“Eat food. not too much. Mostly plants.”

BTW, I taught this concept to the 3rd grade class I spent the day with a few weeks ago and it was simple enough for them to understand.

Conclusion: Fruit does not make you fat!

4. Book: The China Study by Dr. Campbell

I long book about why we need to turn out diet’s focus away from animal products and back to plant based foods such as fruits, veggies, and nuts, for the sake of our health and waistlines.

Conclusion: Fruit does not make you fat!

5. Book: Food Inc. by Eric Schlosser

I book that discusses why we should stay away from factory farmed meat and dairy products along with grains. Huge eye opener and highly recommended!

Conclusion: Fruit does not make you fat!

6. Book: Thrive by Brendan Brazier

One of the best books I read so far this year. Brazer is a professional endurance athlete who competes in triathelons while only consuming a vegan diet. The guy is super lean, healthy, and recovers so fast from tough workouts that he is able to train more then his competitors. That’s why he wins.

Conclusion: Fruit does not make you fat!

The bottom line is that there is enough evidence out there, scientifically proven evidence, that consuming fruit does only positive things for our bodies including keeping us lean, allowing us to feel fuller longer so we lose unwanted fat, protects us from heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Those are all really positive and convincing things in my opinion, so why are we avoiding fruit?

In closing, I will leave you with just one question:

Have you ever known anyone to get really fat because they ate too many bananas?

Yeah, that’s what I thought you’d say.

Your Friend & Coach,

Susan Campbell, MS, CSCS

Please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

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