When considering healthy diet choices, fruit is often the first thing that comes to mind. Fruit is wholesome, full of flavor, and there's so much variety! It's an easy choice when faced with a cookie or a piece of fruit to choose the latter as the healthy option (if you're going that route). And while fruit is certainly the better choice than the cookie, not all fruits are created equal. In fact, some of them resemble the cookie more than they do a truly nutritious snack.
In many cases, the fruits we're eating have been bred to bring out certain traits like sweetness, uniform colors and shapes. David Wolfe, raw food nutrition expert, says that hybrid fruits are often devoid of proper mineral balances and "unnaturally high in sugar." Add to the fact that many of them are also incapable of breeding on their own, such as seedless watermelons, grapes and bananas, which must undergo grafting or other methods of cultivation to help the plant propagate. Because these hybridized fruits are so removed from their wild cousins, they are defenseless against predators of all kinds, often victim to microbes in the soil and within your own body, they can contribute to the growth of candida and other harmful bacteria and fungi.
According to Wolfe, eating too much hybridized fruit (and vegetables) causes the body to "bring heavy minerals from the bones into the blood to buffer the hybrid sugar. This hybrid sugar is not completely recognized by the liver and pancreas. The minerals and sugar are spilled off into the urine. Hybrid sweet fruit and sweet starchy vegetables can over stimulate you and cause you to lose minerals."
Efforts to move junk food out of schools and replaced instead with fresh fruits and vegetables are certainly a step in the right direction for the health of our nation's children, who are facing unprecedented obesity and diabetes rates. But being mindful of high sugar content seedless hybrids like bananas, grapes, melons and oranges could also be helpful. Consider adding fruits closer to their wild heirloom cousins, like berries, loquats, currants and cherries to your diet and your child's diet instead of the high sugar content seedless hybrids. And always choose organic to avoid pesticides and fumigants.
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Image: Parker Michael Knight