I know this is a bold statement and the word healthier is a very broad topic, but I’ll try to explain where I come from on this. The main area that I think of when it comes to fruits vs vegetables is micro nutrient absorption. Both of them contain a ton of micro nutrients, but they absorbed differently.
For people that don’t know what micro nutrients are, can you please explain?
Micro nutrients are vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, D, E, K as well as minerals like iodine, potassium, sodium, etc. Many people focus on macro nutrients (Fats, carbs, protein) for fat loss, but I think the more important thing to focus on are the micro nutrients. The micro nutrients are the building blocks of every cell of our body. We need to focus more on what our body needs to function and less on just the macros for weight loss. When our body has all of it’s nutrients, the mitochondria of the cell can function fully and we can burn calories at a much more efficient rate.
So back to veggies vs fruits, since they both have micro nutrients in them why should people choose fruit over veggies.
Based on what I’ve learned about vegetables, it comes down to the toxins they contain. Vegetables have phytotoxins that are hard for the body to break down. The plant creates these toxins to protect itself from being eaten. Yes, we can break these toxins down by thoroughly cooking the plants, but through this process you can’t guarantee these toxins have been broken down. Also, during this intense cooking process the vegetables might lose some of their nutrients. If the vegetables don’t get broken down well the toxins will then be absorbed in the gut. This is one of the leading causes of leaky gut issues. As for fruits, you can absorb the micro nutrients from them much easier. Because there are little to no toxins in fruit that affect our body, we are able to absorb the nutrients much easier from fruits. So if we took a broccoli vs a pear, and we say they have similar micro nutrient profiles. The body would absorb, for example, 95% of the nutrients from the pear but only 45% from the vegetables.
A lot people are worried about the sugar in fruit, what are your thoughts on that?
There are a couple parts to think about when it comes to sugar in fruit. The first is the fiber in fruit. Some of the sugar actually attaches through the fiber as it goes through the system and not all of it is absorbed. The second is fructose. Fructose goes through the liver and improves insulin sensitivity, which is a good thing, as well as glucose burning. Remember, insulin raises when blood glucose gets high. If the cells are quickly and easily absorbing glucose out of the blood, then insulin will not need to rise much.
Should people completely eliminate vegetables?
No, that’s definitely not the point of this discussion. I do believe there are reasons to leave specific vegetables out of your diet, but they don’t need to be left out completely. In the future we will have a discussion about what ones to eliminate and the reasoning why but for right now, the concept is more about not being scared to eat fruits.
Takeaway and Call to Action
- My main point is fruits are not bad for you. They are actually really good for you.
- Sugar can be really bad from you, but not fructose from fresh fruits, it actually helps against insulin resistance.
- Vegetables have often have many toxins, so make sure you cook them thoroughly so you can absorb them better.
If people want to learn more about eating more fruit where would you suggest they go?
Here is a great article from UMZU on why vegetables might not be the best for you and sticking to fruits will be healthier. I find UMZU to be the leading experts on increasing the awareness of why eating fruits are a valuable tool for our health.