Does fruit make you fat?

Two alarms bells should have gone off as soon as you saw the title of this blog post:

  1. “Hmm, Ryan is not a nutritionist.”
  2. “Hmm, Ryan doesn’t appear to be citing references to primary sources of information. Maybe I should take what he’s about to say with a grain of salt.”

Yes, and yes. You should apply these filters to anything you read online, particularly when it comes to your health. I spent too many years reading nutrition blogs that were spotty at best, so take this for what it’s worth:

A long, long time ago there were no supermarkets. There were no cars. If you were hungry you had to walk around until you found something to eat. Sometimes you didn’t find anything for days, burning tens of thousands of calories with no way to replenish yourself. There was always a serious risk of starvation.

So imagine your delight if you found an apple orchard.

Ever been to an apple orchard? Thousands upon thousands of apples; more apples than a small town could know what to do with. Hunter-gatherer you would be overjoyed to discover such a place. After all, you just found a plethora of energy-dense food, and you know it’s energy-dense because it tastes sweet. Fructose, the molecule in fruit, tastes sweet to humans.

Sweet = energy = not starving to death. Nature produces a lot of fruit in the fall because winter is coming, and once it’s here it’s going to be really hard to find energy until the spring.

So no, fruit does not make you fat in and of itself. It could though, because now we have fruit–and whatever else we want–all the time.

Sweet + more sweet + more sweet = too much energy = fat.

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