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Size Matters: The World Of Super-Sized Fruit



Size Matters: The World Of Super-Sized Fruit


In a world where "bigger is better" seems to be the prevailing motto, even our beloved fruits have undergone a transformation. Check out the size difference in these apples just as an example. The apples I pick from the local trees are half the size of the smaller apple and they are delicious. They are also slightly more bitter... read on to find out why.


The fruit we find in supermarkets today is nearly twice the size it used to be, and while it may look more tempting, we need to exercise a bit of common sense when it comes to portion sizes.


Let's embark on a journey through the evolution of fruit, exploring how it has changed over the years and why being mindful of portion sizes is crucial for our well-being.


Why Does It Matter?


Last year I had a lovely client who said his weight loss had plateaued. We ran through what he'd been doing. After many successful weeks, he had been given some apples. Not just any apples. He brought me some as a gift! Which I LOVED. But I had to cut them in half.


He was eating two a day and juicing the rest... eating upwards of 12 tsp of sugar a day in apples and apple juice. Less than ideal! But we talked through why that might be a problem and tweaked things a bit.


Bananas can range from 6-inches and about 100 calories (and 25g of carbohydrates/sugar) to 12-inches and over 200 calories (and nearly 50g of carbohydrates/sugar). To give you some context that is nearly 12tsp of sugar and more than a can of coke.


So, Size Matters: The World Of Super-Sized Fruit... let's get into it.


The Super-sizing of Fruit:


Picture this: the apples and grapes of your grandparents' era might seem like distant relatives compared to the giants we encounter today. The average size of fruits has increased significantly over the past few decades. But why the growth spurt?


Let's take strawberries. The larger berries have a longer shelf life, making them practical to sell. Farmers make more money filling boxes with fewer, larger strawberries. It's also easier to pick large strawberries because they're more visible on the plant and easier to grab. Which also makes the process quicker.

If someone handed you a peach 6,000 years ago, you might be surprised: the sour, grape-sized lump you'd be holding would hardly resemble the plump, juicy fruit we enjoy today.

Business Insider - 2014


So, How Has Fruit Evolved? The Sweet Side of Evolution:


As fruits have grown larger, they have also become sweeter.


While sweetness is generally delightful to the taste buds, it's essential to recognise the impact on sugar intake. Larger fruits often mean higher sugar content, and consuming them in excess may lead to an unintended spike in sugar intake.


There have been tonnes of studies on the correlation of fruit size and sugar content.





The Bitter Truth: Polyphenols and Nutrient Decline


As fruits have become sweeter, they have lost some of their bitter edge. Ironically, this loss of bitterness is associated with a decline in polyphenols—powerful antioxidants that contribute to the health benefits of fruits.


Polyphenols play a crucial role in reducing inflammation, protecting against chronic diseases, and promoting overall well-being.


The Skin We're In: Less Rough, Less Tough?


The rough texture of fruit skin not only used to be a sign of ripeness but also an indicator of nutrient density.


Today, the smoother skin of many fruits might suggest a loss of some of these vital nutrients. Common sense dictates that we should be mindful of this change and perhaps consider other sources for a nutrient boost.





Using Common Sense for Portion Control:


In a world where fruit portions have become super-sized, it's time to bring back the wisdom of common sense. Enjoying fruits in moderation, savouring the natural sweetness, and being mindful of portion sizes can help us strike a balance between indulgence and nutrition.


As we navigate the supermarket aisles filled with larger-than-life fruits, let's not forget to use our common sense.


While these fruits may be tempting, being aware of the changes in their size, sweetness, and nutrient content empowers us to make healthier choices.


By embracing moderation and mindful eating, we can ensure that the fruits we love continue to be a delicious and nutritious part of our diet.


My Top Tips


  1. Buy the smallest fruit you can find, not the biggest

  2. If you end up with super-size fruit, don't be afraid to cut it in half

  3. Try checking out farmer's markets or local producers for more real fruit

  4. Try to limit yourself to 2 or maximum 3 pieces of small fruit a day if you are trying to lose body fat

  5. Be particularly mindful of high-sugar fruits like bananas

And...last but not least, enjoy it! The powers at be; farmers and food companies have turned our fruit into near-on candy over the centuries, so enjoy the delicious taste!


References:



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