T Nation

Question for the nutrition gurus!

Since carb intake should be limited to lets say between 75g’s and 100g’s, even lower in some, when people trying to lean. What is the general consensus on the ingestion of fruit? Pretty much all fruit is a carb bomb. Should a person stay away from fruits all together? One apple is around 30g’s of carbs and then you have another 25-50g’s in your PWO shake. So that leaves a neglegable amount to ingest vegetable wise and leaves no leway for other foods. Are the carbs in vegetables not counted?

The Top 6 Displacing Debates
By John M. Berardi

  1. Fruit is Bad Now?

We all know fruit provides fiber, vitamins, minerals, and low glycemic index carbohydrates, so it should be no surprise that many experts recommend eating a few servings of fruit each day. Heck, this notion has even been turned into a clich?d rhyme: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”

Yet some experts out there (short-sighted experts with a real lack of perspective, I might add) actually suggest that fruit might be bad for us! That?s utter nonsense.

So, imagine you?re someone with a lifetime of eating habits that are less than optimal (for some of you, it might not be so hard to do) and you?re exposed to this debate. What do you do? Well, nine times out of ten, you figure that if there?s a chance fruit is bad for you, you might as well stay away from it ? probably better to reach for a Big Mac instead. After all, it does taste better.

Verdict: Eat the damn fruit.

I know that probably didn’t answer your question…but I thought that it would be informitive to your thread to give Berardi’s opinion on fruit. I think you should definitly count the carbs in you vegatable, I mean they are carbs aren’t they?

Hey, there, PGA!!! You like to ask those thought provoking questions, I see. (grin)

In general I tend to avoid fructose, especially the kind of fructose you find in packaged products; you know the HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup). Fructose is not capable of refilling muscle glycogen (my goal when working out). It is only capable of refilling liver glycogen (not necessarily my goal). The good thing is that fructose does not elicit an insulin response, which is why it is often recommended to diabetics. But the bad thing about fructose & HFCS is that if liver glycogen stores are full, it is converted to triglyceride and stored as BF. Diabetic or not, I can’t see that increase adipose tissue stores is beneficial to anyone’s health.

So now that we are all on the same page, the question is, is fruit bad, should it be avoided since the predominant sugar is fructose?

I believe fruit is not bad and that it has redeeming qualities and belongs in everyone’s diet. It has vitamins, minderals and phytonutrients that are health protective. A lot of fruits are high in fiber. I think anyone would benefit from having a serving or two of fruit per day, whether they’re on a diet or not. However, I think a predominantly fruit diet to lose weight would be highly counterproductive if one understands the physiology.

It’s a balance between health and body composition. Fruit is not something that should be permanently eliminated from one’s diet.

I know who JB is and have read his stuff. That really doesn’t answer the question.

One apple, one bananna, a cup of brocolli and a carrot a day will equal around 65 grams of carbs. Then you have your PWO shake and all of the other negligible carbs in the rest off your food. So if someone is trying to stay below 75grams of carbs how would they do that when fruit is a very high carb source?

(Wiping Brow) Whew! Glad I’m not out of step with JB on this one.

Good post, Alphamale!!!

It’s all really a matter of timing and balance when it comes to diet.

What is “bad” may not be so bad at the proper time and quantity. And what is “good” may not be so good at the improper time and quantity.

PGA, don’t forget to subtract fiber from total carbs.

Fruit sugar (fructose) doesn’t refill muscle glycogen. That’s all you need to be aware of and manage.

I’ve read that it is not a good ideal to subtract fiber from your carbs if your in a fat loss stage, but only to when bulking up.

I believe it was Cy Wilson who said “nobody ever got fat eating fruit”. Fruit is a great source of nutrients and should be part of the diet. If i have a client who has terrible eating habits and they ask me if they should eliminate fruit due to the sugar content, i’ll usually let them continue eating it since it fits with the healthy eating habits we are trying to establish. Id rather have them eat fruit than a Krispy Kreme. Now someone who has their nutrition dialed in and is in a position to really manipulate their diet can start to look at timing of the fruit intake. As TT stated fructose can only replenish glycogen stores so its not optimal post workout (or pre workout). I will have people eat fruit as part of their first meal since liver glycogen stores are low after the over night fast (the liver could be empty if carbs haven’t been eaten in 12-16 hours).

So Terry, with fructose being the dominant sugar in fruits should people avoid eating a piece during their protein + fats meal if they’re following the P+F P+C diet plan?

I think we could all stand to remember two things…

1.) Fruit JUICE (to say nothing of HFCS “beverages” as Terry mentioned) is something that a strict “dieter” might indeed want to avoid because of the sheer volume of fructose ingested and the fact that human subjects tend not to compensate (i.e. downward-adjust later) for the load of kcal imbibed. (We do tend to compensate later if it had been solid food).

From an energy balance perspective, whole fruits are much less “fattening”. Try eating the equivalent of 20 oz. of O.J. in the form of whole oranges; you’ll slow down pretty fast! Yet that O.J. can be gone in seconds!

2.) Insulin stimulation isn’t the only regulator of fat storage. You’ve already hit upon the extremely lipogenic nature of fructose (it bypasses a rate-controlling step in glycolysis producing excess pyruvate and ultimately fat). But as a few of you have already commented, fruit is not only fructose. There are simply too many healthful reasons to eat it.

So, I think those who are carb paranoid may want to stick to the whole fruits and just avoid fruit juices.

PS Nice mention of the TIMING of said carbs. Eating a (relatively high GI)banana in a whey shake, for example after the gym is a good thing - even if I wouldn’t be doing that right before bed.


I personlally do not eat fruit when cutting.

I have heard 3 trains of thought as far as fiber goes:

subtract it
don’t subtract it
subtract 1/2 of it

The “subtract it” people have now one me over.

Does canned fruit count? Such as cannded pineapple, peaches, pears, cocktail?

Canned fruit usually is sweetened with sugar of HFCS. Check the ingredients.

I am interested in finding out more about the topic Tampa Terry mentioned regarding fructose not being able to replenish muscle glycogen stores. If anyone could point me toward the direction of some info on that I would be greatly appreciative


Kryp… any physiology text would help you there. go to your local universtity book store and have a hunt.
as for fruit when cutting: i tend to minimise it and have maybe half a serve with oats in the morning if any at all. if you are dieting for more than 12 weeks of the year then you should really check out your general eating habits. in general however fruit is fine. i wouldn’t go as far to have 5 serves a day but a banana sure make shakes taste alot better…

cutting fruit out of your diet because of carbs is like cutting the windshield off of your car cause it gets dirty - might seem like a good idea, but doesn’t make complete sense. i don’t think fruits should be cut out of the diet; not only do they provide a better source of carbs than others (as mentioned by LTrain and TT), but they also provide fiber and nutrients that are beneficial to your entire body. my guidelines for eating fruits usually regard the following:

  1. i tend to eat fruit in the morning, where i’m more concerned about adequately fueling my body (which includes liver glycogen stores from fructose and subsequent muscle glycogen sequestering) than fat storage. however, later on during the day i tend to stay away from high carb sources except for pre/post-workouts.

  2. eating a banana before a session (and even after) helps maintain potassium balance in the body - a crucial ion in the correct functioning of neurons. i don’t eat acidic/citrus fruits before and after workouts. they may upset my stomach, or, when eaten following a workout, they may slow the ingestion of other nutrients due to their acidity.

  3. given the choice between fruits and veggies, i usually go for the veggies (spinach and leafy greens). not that great for the taste buds, but better for the body.

  4. if you need to have some fruit, try berries, some of which contain much more antioxidants than your usual fruits.

that’s about it. to answer kryptoniteks question about learning more about this stuff, get a biochemistry textbook. a good one will answer all your questions depending on how technical an answer you want.