We all know that vegetables and fruits add essential nutrients and fiber to a healthy diet. Here are four essential facts about fruits:
- Because of their high water content, fruits have only about 40 to 90 calories per serving. An exception is avocado, which, because of its fat content, has about 240 calories per cup, cubed.
- Whole fruits have more fiber and are more filling than fruit juice, which has a higher sugar concentration. If you drink juice, limit it to one cup a day and make sure it’s “100% juice.” Be aware that manufacturers often sneak in cheap apple and grape juices as fillers for more expensive (and healthier) juices, like pomegranate and blueberry. Check the ingredients.
- Frozen fruit retains even more nutrients and phytochemicals than “fresh” fruit that has sat around. Canned fruit is convenient, but make sure it’s packed in unsweetened juice (not sugary syrups).
- Dried fruits are concentrated sources of minerals (iron, copper, potassium) and fiber, but also of sugar and thus calories. So eat them in small amounts—and be sure to brush afterwards because the sugars, combined with the sticky texture, are bad for teeth. If you are allergic to sulfites, look for sulfite-free dried fruits.
Published October 15, 2014