We’ve all heard of the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but have you ever stopped to wonder why people are so much more likely to eat a biscuit or slice of cake than an apple? I have! The apple in your fruit bowl is not your problem!
I often encounter clients and patients worried about their diabetes, high blood sugar levels, and hypertension. They tell me, “I tend to avoid certain fruits because of the sugar, but I still eat cakes, biscuits, fizzy drinks, chocolate, and sweets.”
This way of thinking baffles me! Do people want to believe sugary biscuits are not as bad for them as apples? Are they hoping they are not? Where is this way of thinking coming from?
Eating healthy is a lifestyle choice, and it’s essential to understand the differences between fruits and processed sugary foods. Many people assume these foods are unhealthy because of the sugar in fruit. However, this thinking ignores the other nutritional benefits of consuming fruits. So let’s explore why apples should be part of your balanced diet.
The Sugar Content in Apples vs. Cakes and Biscuits
Indeed Apples contain natural sugars but offer many other nutritional benefits like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. For example, one medium-sized apple has 95 calories, 19 grams of carbohydrates (all from natural sugars), 4 grams of fiber, and 8 milligrams of vitamin C. Compare this to cakes or biscuits; cakes can have up to 250 calories per slice with 12-17 grams of fat! So clearly, there’s a massive difference in the amount of sugar in apples versus cakes or biscuits. Apples are an excellent source of dietary fiber that helps maintain digestive health and reduce cholesterol levels. The soluble fibers found in apples can also help prevent constipation, while insoluble fibers keep you full longer, so you don’t snack as often.
Also, apples are packed with essential vitamins, including vitamins A & C, which help support skin health and a healthy immune system. Additionally, apples contain iron, which helps transport oxygen throughout the body, while potassium helps keep healthy blood pressure levels and tastes great too! Further, the sugars found in fruit are processed differently by your body than added sugars from processed food items like cakes and biscuits.
So as a nation how do people think fruit is dangerous to eat but fizzy drinks (aka liquid poison), biscuits, and chocolate are better options?
Do we ignore the fact that Sugar is addictive?
We all know that sugar is addictive, and it’s no secret why so many people find themselves reaching for a biscuit or cake instead of an apple. Studies have shown that when people consume sugar, their brains release dopamine, which makes them feel good. This reward system also explains why it can be challenging to stop eating something sweet once we’ve started – our brain wants us to keep eating until we get what we have convinced ourselves is a ‘reward.’
While some may think that sugar may taste great, it can also be super detrimental to your health if consumed in large amounts. For example, too much sugar can cause many issues, such as obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, increased inflammation, and heart disease – undesirable outcomes! Natural sweeteners are your best bet if you want something sweet without all the adverse side effects of processed sugars. Raw honey and maple syrup contain vitamins and minerals, making them better choices than refined sugars. Additionally, they don’t spike your blood sugar levels like regularly processed sugars so you won’t experience the same crash after consumption.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that moderation is essential when indulging in sweet treats. I think we all know that. While biscuits and cakes may present themselves as being delicious, the hidden ingredients in these foods are not and should most definitely not replace healthy foods like fruits and vegetables in your diet! So now we know why apples should be part of our balanced diet; they contain fewer calories than many processed sugary foods like cakes and biscuits but still provide essential nutrients for overall health benefits. Eating an apple instead of a sugary snack is an easy way to add more nutrition to your daily routine without sacrificing flavour or satisfaction!