Posted by: | 2019/06/23

Fruit Lover

I am a male about 30 years old. My height is 5ft 6in and weight 60-65kg, my waist is 32inches and this is maintained from about 10years. I take care of my health.I have a few concerns about my eating habits. I love eating all the seasonal fruits. I love eating dates 5-6 dates a day (3 in empty stomach).In addition one glass of milk, available seasonal fruits like watermelon, mangoes, apples, peaches etc. on daily basis. I also use desi ghee in moderate (ghee from butter)I also take 5-6 almonds daily and in winter walnuts also. I dont soft drinks and junk foods. Is my eating habits are right for long term healthy life?Can we eat fruits in empty stomach? Am I overeating ?My weight is maintained is not affected by my eatings.Kindly guide. Is eating sweet things causes diabetes?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageThe Dietitians
- 2019/07/09

Thank you for writing to us at Health24.

Fruits do not need to be avoided. They do contain sugar, however, this is in the form of fructose. Fructose is metabolised differently to sucrose (table sugar) as it is processed by the liver first before it is released into the bloodstream. As the sugar needs to bypass via the liver, it is processed slower. Fructose is also bound within a fibre matrix. Breaking down the fibre to release the fructose also takes time which further slows the process of releasing glucose into the blood stream. Fruit can therefore be part of a healthy diet. Eating fruit with a protein such as plain yoghurt or a starch like high fibre crackers will further slow the release of glucose into the blood stream. Portion control is important. Aim to eat a maximum of one fruit serving (size of a small fist or about 1/2 cup) at a meal. Also avoid eating fruit too late in the day.

Besides fruit other healthy snack ideas are lean biltong, nuts, boiled egg, chicken strips, low fat plain cottage cheese and low-fat hummus with vegetable sticks, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, baby carrots, mini corn, cucumber, celery, gherkins, peppers, high fibre crackers, popcorn, rice cakes etc.

Be careful to have large portions of nuts as they provide large amounts of energy. For example a small handful of nuts can provide the same energy as about 3-4 slices of bread. Nuts are very healthy for us as they provide some fibre, protein and healthy mono-unsaturated fats. As they provide majority fats they are naturally a very energy dense item. If the energy the nuts are providing is not accounted for then they may inhibit a daily kilojoule deficient and weight loss, if that is your goal. Portions of nuts are managed better if they are not eaten as a stand alone snack but rather added to a meal like oats, a salad or stirfry.  

Lastly, eating sweet things alone won't cause diabetes however, regular intake of sweet foods will have negative effects on your health that could contribute towards developing diabetes. Diabetes can be caused by several factors. Try aim for a reduced intake of sweet foods.

To get detailed advice on your diet we advise you see a dietitian. To find a registered dietitian near you visit the Association for Dietetics in South Africa’s website

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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