Recently, there were multiple articles published about a professional athlete who avoids eating fruits and olive oil. I have been asked multiple times for the dietitian’s opinion on the healthfulness of this. Here it is!
Fruit is where we’ll start. Fruit is a food group. This means that foods in this group contain necessary nutrients that it is difficult to get enough of from other food groups. Yes, fruit contains sugar. It is naturally-occurring sugar, which is not harmful to your health as long as fruit is not the main part of your diet. Plus, fruit is a package that also contains fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals. So overall, fruit is good for your health.
Of all the plant oils, olive oil is arguably the best for you. It is full of monounsaturated fats, which are healthful for your heart. The main fatty acid found in olive oil is an omega-9, which is anti-inflammatory. When possible, I recommend replacing butter, margarine, and/or coconut oil with olive oil.
You can eat healthfully without following the same diet as a celebrity. Simply consider the foundations of a healthy diet: adequacy (consuming enough of each food group), balance (ensuring that you include each food group), moderation (not consuming too much of any food or food group), and variety (choosing a variety of foods within each food group). Including these principles in your daily eating will help you remain in your best health.
Lynn Grant R.D., L.D., CDE is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She works at Capital Region Medical Center and provides diabetes education and outpatient nutrition counseling by appointment. She also writes a weekly blog, which you can view at nutritionnotions.wordpress.com.