Fruit food group mythbusters

Read through the statements on this page to discover how various myths about fruits are debunked with scientific evidence.

Myth

The sugar in fruit is bad for you.

Busted

Fruit does contain sugars, however, they are natural sugars, not added. Fructose derived naturally from whole fruit has a different metabolic effect on the body when compared with fructose added to the diet, largely due to the presence of dietary fibre. Fruit is recommended as part of a healthy diet and has a range of health benefits including a reduced risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity and some cancers.1

Myth

Dried fruit is a suitable alternative to fresh fruit.

Busted

Dried fruit has had the moisture removed, forming a denser product and therefore contains more kilojoules than fresh fruit. Portion sizes should be controlled as it is easier to consume a lot more dried fruit than fresh fruit. Dried fruit can also stick to teeth and increase the risk of dental decay, so dried fruit should only be eaten occasionally.2

Myth

People with diabetes should not eat fruit.

Busted

Managing diabetes has to do with managing blood glucose, blood fats, blood pressure and weight and fruit can play a positive role in these factors. While fruit does contain natural sugar in the form of fructose, it is also a great source of dietary fibre and antioxidants shown to be good for health. All types of fruit are suitable for people with diabetes, however, keep an eye on portion sizes and stick to daily recommendations.3

Myth

Drinking fruit juice is as good as eating whole fruit.

Busted

Fruit juices should not replace whole fruit in the diet. Fruit juice should only be drunk occasionally as it is acidic and can increase the risk of dental erosion. Fruit juice also has less fibre and other nutrients compared with whole fruit . Drinking juice can also be deceiving as it is a concentrated source of energy which can contribute to weight gain if consumed in excess.4

Myth

Organic fruits are more nutritious compared to non-organic fruits.

Busted

There is currently no evidence to suggest that organic fruits are healthier than non-organic fruits.

Several studies have compared the nutritional content of organic and conventionally grown plants, and most have shown no significant differences in key vitamin and mineral content.5

 

 



1 Nutrition Australia. Fructose [Internet]. Nutrition Australia, 2010. Available: http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/frequently-asked-questions/fructose

2 National Health and Medical Research Council. Fruit [Internet]. Canberra, Commonwealth of Australia, 2015. Available: https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/five-food-groups/fruit

3 Diabetes NSW. Myth busting: Fruit with bad reputations [Internet]. Diabetes NSW, Glebe, 2015. Available: http://diabetesnsw.com.au/your-community/myth-busting-fruit-with-bad-reputations

4 National Health and Medical Research Council. Fruit [Internet]. Canberra, Commonwealth of Australia, 2015. Available: https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/five-food-groups/fruit

5 Better Health Channel. Organic food [Internet]. Department of Human Services, Victoria, Melbourne, 2014. Available: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/organic-food