Is There Such a Thing as Eating Too Many Fruits and Vegetables?

It may make you scratch your head, but in fact it is possible to overeat healthful foods, according to Brooke Schantz, RD, of Loyola University Health System.

“While fruits are nutritious, too much of even a healthy food can lead to weight gain,” Schantz says. “The key is to remember to control the portion sizes of the foods you consume."

Schantz reported that overeating healthful foods is easy to do, but the same rules apply to healthful food as junk food.

“I have had many patients tell me that they don’t know why they are not losing weight,” Schantz says. “Then they report that they eat fruit all day long. They are almost always shocked when I advise them to watch the quantity of food they eat even if it is healthy."

Schantz says that one exception applies. Nonstarchy vegetables are difficult to overeat unless they are accompanied by unnecessary calories from sauces, cheeses and butter. This is due to the high water and fiber content of these vegetables coupled with the stretching capacity of the stomach. The vegetables she suggests limiting are those that are high in starch, such as peas, corn, and potatoes. Foods that are labeled as fat-free or low-fat are another area of concern.

“People tend to give themselves the freedom to overeat ‘healthy’ foods,” Schantz says. “While the label might say that a food or beverage is low-fat or fat-free, watch the quantity you consume and refrain from eating an excessive amount. Foods that carry these health claims may be high in sugar and calories.”

Source: Loyola University Health System

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