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Eating Excessive Amounts of Fruit Can Cause Weight Gain and Obesity

Updated on August 12, 2014

Eating Excessive amounts of Fruit Can Lead to Weight Gain

Eating this platter filled with fruit will increase your blood sugar level and may place you at risk for weight gain.
Eating this platter filled with fruit will increase your blood sugar level and may place you at risk for weight gain. | Source

Fruits

Fruits make great snacks when eaten in moderation.
Fruits make great snacks when eaten in moderation. | Source

Fruits

Fruits are not created equal. Choose the ones with low calories.
Fruits are not created equal. Choose the ones with low calories. | Source

Fruits May Cause Weight Gain when Eaten in Excessive Amounts

People who eat excessive amounts of fruit may gain weight due to the high concentration of fructose (fruit sugar) found in some fruits.

The body uses glucose as its primary source of energy. Excess glucose is stored in liver and muscle cells as glycogen. The body converts glycogen to glucose by a process called glycogenolysis when it needs extra fuel.

When there are high concentrations of fructose in the blood, the body will not convert glycogen to glucose and does not burn stored fats. The body instead builds up more fat. Fructose causes more fat storage in liver and muscle cells than glucose.

When neither glucose nor fructose is available, the body in order to survive will first break down glycogen, then fats followed by protein. The body will not break down fats unless the glycogen stores are empty. Thus, the fat stores in your body will continue to build up if fructose is always available for conversion to fat and glycogen.

Obese Boy

Eating excessive fruits can lead to obesity.
Eating excessive fruits can lead to obesity. | Source

Obesity

Obesity can result from excessive amount of sugar found in fruits.
Obesity can result from excessive amount of sugar found in fruits. | Source

Snacking on Fruits Creates a Feeling of Fullness Due to High Fructose and Fluid Content.

Try to break the habit of snacking excessively on fruits. Fruits have more calories than many non starchy vegetables and they are more pleasing to the appetite; as such, it is quite easy to overeat fruits and pack on those extra calories. [1]

Many people eat excessive amounts of fruits on a daily basis contending that they are eating healthy foods. This may be so only if you are eating in moderation. Remember that fruits have a high content of fluid and sugar. As such, it is easy to become full after eating numerous pieces of fruits such as mangoes or watermelon in one sitting. After consuming multiple pieces of fruits, you may feel too full to eat a healthy balanced meal.

Try to develop good eating habits. Having too many pieces of fruit available to you at one time may increase the temptation to over eat. Keep yourself on track by preparing a cup of fruit, or a few servings of fruit Instead of a large container for snacks.

Water Melon

Water Melon has a high amount of fructose and calories.
Water Melon has a high amount of fructose and calories. | Source

Bananas

Bananas have a high sugar content.
Bananas have a high sugar content. | Source

Apples vs. Pears

Choose wisely. Pears have less sugar than apples.
Choose wisely. Pears have less sugar than apples. | Source

Apples and Grapes

Apples and Grapes are tasty but loaded with sugar.
Apples and Grapes are tasty but loaded with sugar. | Source

Strawberries

Strawberries are low in sugar.
Strawberries are low in sugar. | Source

Sugar Content of Fruits

Certain fruits have more sugar than others. Fruits such as bananas, mangoes, watermelons apples, and grapes have high concentrations of sugar and will cause you to pack on those extra pounds. Fruits such as strawberries, nectarines, lemons, pineapples and grapefruit are lower in sugar.

It is a bad idea to substitute fresh fruits for canned fruits. Canned fruits have higher concentrations of added sugar. Many consumers do not focus on labels prior to purchasing canned fruits. However, if you must use canned fruits, then you should read labels in order to find canned fruits with lower concentrations of sugar.

Avoid using dried fruits. Dried fruits such as apricots, dates, raisins, figs, prune and dates are all loaded with sugar. These dried fruits are more like candies that actual fruit.

Read Food Labels to Get Healthier Products

Belly Fat

Belly fat may be hard to eliminate if you eat too many bananas.
Belly fat may be hard to eliminate if you eat too many bananas. | Source

Sugar Content of Common Fruits (Courtesy of USDA)

Fruit
Serving
Amount of Sugar
Lemon
1medium
2gm
Strawberries
8 medium
8gm
Tangerines
1 medium
9gm
Pineapples
1 medium
10 gm
Grapefruit
1/2 medium
11 gm
Cantalopue
1/4 medium
11 gm
Honey Dew Melon
1/10 medium
11 gm
Kiwi Fruit
2 medium
13 gm
Peach
1 medium
13gm
Orange
1 medium
14 gm
Pear
1 medium
16 gm
Plums
2 medium
16 pm
Bananas
1 medium
19 gm
Grapes
3/4 cups
20 gm
Watermelon
2 cups diced
20 gm
Apples
1 large
25 gm

Orange vs. Orange Juice

Source

Fresh Fruit vs. Fruit Juice

Try not to substitute fruit juices for fresh fruit. A serving of fruit juice usually has twice the amount of calories and approximately twice the amount of sugar compared to a serving of fruit. For example, a serving of orange juice has approximately 120 calories and 26 grams of sugar. A serving of orange has 62 calories and approximately 12 grams of sugar. A serving of orange is approximately one orange. People tend to drink more orange juice that is necessary when making the substitution of orange juice for orange.Moreover, you are more likely to pour a second glass of orange juice as opposed to peeling a second orange during a meal.

Dietary Fiber

Many fruit juices also contain less dietary fiber than fresh fruits. An orange contains approximately 3 grams of fiber. A glass of orange Juice contains approximately 0.5 grams of fiber. Fiber helps in the digestion of food and helps people to have well formed stools and maintain healthy bowels. If there is adequate fiber in the diet your bowels are less likely to develop conditions like hemorrhoids and diverticulitis (a painful condition that develops when pouches form in the walls of the bowels).


Food Pyramid

Source

Recommended Food Groups

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit daily for a healthy adult. You should eat foods from the five foods groups instead of eating multiple servings of fruit. The five food groups and daily recommended portion sizes are:

(1) Proteins-5 to 6 ounces.

(2) Dairy-3 cups.

(3) Grains-3 to 4 ounces.

(4) Fruit-1.5 to 2 cups.

(5) Vegetable-2 to 3 cups.

Cheese
Cheese | Source
Whole wheat bread on white
Whole wheat bread on white | Source
Fresh vegetables arranged on board
Fresh vegetables arranged on board | Source
Salmon
Salmon | Source
Fruit arrangement
Fruit arrangement | Source

Examples of Foods Within Each Food Group

Proteins 5-6 Ounces

  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Pork Chops
  • Dried peas and beans
  • Beef
  • Peanut Butter
  • Turkey
  • Eggs

Dairy 3 cups

  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt

Grains 3-4 ounces

  • Oatmeal
  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Pancakes
  • Pasta

Fruit 1.5-2 cups

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Papaya
  • Nectarines
  • Cantaloupes
  • Lemon

Vegetable 2-3 cups

  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Turnip
  • Lettuce
  • Eggplant
  • Lima beans

When in doubt, or if still hungry after a balanced meal, just add more fresh vegetables to your plate and drink more water.


Food Preparation

Prepare foods using foods from the five food groups each meal. When choosing grains remember that foods that contain the original grain seeds (whole grains) are more nutritious. Oats, barley and rye are excellent breakfast foods. Oatmeal can be eaten with butter or may be lightly sweetened with agents such as stevia and flavored with vanilla and cream to improve taste. When choosing from the vegetables group, try to focus on dark leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli. Spices such as garlic power or adobo will make cooked vegetables tastier.

Try a variety of salad dressings each meal to make salads more appetizing. Orange colored vegetables such as sweet peppers and carrots can be steamed or sautéed quickly with margarine. Choose fresh low sugar fruits over canned or dried fruits for desserts when choosing from the fruit group. Try a variety of cheeses from the dairy group to add extra taste to your meal. Add peas and beans to your fish or poultry sauce. Add seeds to your lean meat to make your protein group more exciting.

Vegetable

Vegetables make healthy snacks.
Vegetables make healthy snacks. | Source

Heart

High sugar levels can lead to obesity that leads to heart problems
High sugar levels can lead to obesity that leads to heart problems | Source

Cardiovascular Diseases

Obesity from sugar related weight gain can lead to cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular diseases can lead to debilitation and death. Obese people are at higher risk of heart attacks than others.[2]

The instant gratification and repeated rise in your blood sugar from daily over eating of several bananas, a wedge of water melon and a pound of grapes, may progress into fat accumulation and high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The accumulation of these blood lipids in your arteries especially the coronary arteries, may occlude the flow of blood in these vessels. Since these problems can be caused from overeating of certain foods, then you should appreciate the fact that hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular problems that are linked to obesity are preventable.

If you must eat excessive amounts of fruits on a daily basis, then you should limit your fruit intake to fruits that are low in sugar. Remember that vegetables such as carrots make a delicious snack and do not spike your blood sugar the way watermelon, grapes or bananas will.

If you just cannot give up the excessive amounts of fruits you should also try to limit your caloric intake from other high carbohydrate foods such as pies, cakes, cookies and candies.

If you are guilty of ingesting excessive amounts of high calories fruits then you should try to engage in some type of physical activity for at least half an hour on a daily basis. Try Jogging or brisk walking if you cannot afford a gym membership, or cannot afford to purchase exercise equipment.

Obese woman

Excessive eating of fruits can lead to obesity and place you at risk for Type 2 Diabetes.
Excessive eating of fruits can lead to obesity and place you at risk for Type 2 Diabetes. | Source

Fruit Poll

Do you believe that eating excessive amounts of fruit is healthy?

See results

Type 2 Diabetes

Excessive weight gain from eating too many fruits may also place you at risk for Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes (also called Adult Onset) is caused by a high level of sugar in the blood. Some of the risk factors outlined by the CDC are obesity, sedentary life style, family history. Some of the these risk factors such as Obesity and sedentary life style are clearly preventable. Symptoms of diabetes are increased urine output, thirst, hunger and fatigue. Complications of Type 2 diabetes are strokes, amputations, kidney failure, blindness and heart disease. As such, simply avoiding excessive amounts of fruits filled with sugars may minimize the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. The CDC estimates that 1 in 3 Adults will have Type 2 Diabetes by the year 2050. Some research study shows that Type 2 diabetes can be reversed from weight loss and exercise.

If you eat excessive amounts of fruit you should exercise daily and learn more about Type 2 Diabetes.


Conclusion

There are five food groups to choose from to maintain optimal health. Eat smart by consuming foods from all food groups. While there is instant gratification from eating excessive amounts of pleasant tasting fruits, remember that there are long term consequences from overeating them. Despite fruits having a reputation of being healthy foods, remember that excessive amounts of fruit can lead to weight gain, obesity and a chain reaction of cardiac and other health problems.

References

[1] Jampolis, Melina. Can Eating Too Much Fruit Keep Me From Losing Weight? CNN.ComHealth.Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/expert.q.a/08/28/fruit.weightloss.jampolis/index.html?iref=24hours

[2] Obesity Increase Risk of Deadly Heart Attack. Available at: Hendrick, Bill. WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20110214/obesity-increases-risk-of-deadly-heart-attacks


Other Resources

1. USDA'S Food Guide. Background and Development. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/MyPyramid/OriginalFoodGuidePyramids/FGP/FGPBackgroundAndDevelopment.pdf

2. Getting the Facts on Diabetes. http://www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesfactsheet/

3. Whole Grain: Available at http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/definition-of-whole-grains

4. Fruits: Available at: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/UCM169234.pdf

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    • cecileportilla profile image
      Author

      Cecile Portilla 3 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      Thanks for dropping by billybuc. Balance is indeed the key to proper nutrition!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good information my friend. I am always leery of any food intake program that gives too much weight (pardon the pun) to one food group. Balance seems to me to be the best policy always.

    • cecileportilla profile image
      Author

      Cecile Portilla 3 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      Moderation is indeed the key! Thanks for stopping by DDE.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Everything eaten in moderation is key to a healthier lifestyle.

    • cecileportilla profile image
      Author

      Cecile Portilla 3 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      Thank you ubanichijioke. Really appreciate the feed back!

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 3 years ago from Lagos

      wow! this is my first time of reading about this info. A well written piece and useful too. good job!

    • cecileportilla profile image
      Author

      Cecile Portilla 3 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      Thanks thecollegeway for stopping by my hub! Many shoppers don't read labels, as such they remain unaware!

    • thecollegeway profile image

      thecollegeway 3 years ago

      Great hub! I agree that sometimes it can be misleading how much added sugar things such as canned or packaged fruit can contain!

    • cecileportilla profile image
      Author

      Cecile Portilla 3 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      Thanks again Cam8510 fo reading this Hub!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 3 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Excellent information. I think I'm guilty of the one pound of grapes at one sitting. Thanks for the well written hub.