Fruit is Healthy…Right?

18 Jan

First off, happy Friday everyone! I’m actually sad it’s Friday, because it’s my last weekend before my winter break is over. My break has been so relaxing and I am kind of dreading going back to school. But, I can’t complain too much, since I’ll be graduating with my Master’s in May!

Anyway…today’s post could be controversial, which is why it’s filed under my “Thinking Out Loud” tab ๐Ÿ˜‰

We’ll be discussing FRUIT.

I randomly thought about writing this as I walked by the smoothie shop at the mall the other day. Fruit smoothies are healthy right? Well, I won’t be saying that’s wrong because yes, fruits are obviously healthy and nutritious. But if you are trying to lose weight or maintain a certain weight, as with everything, fruit should be eaten in moderation.

Fruits contain a lot of sugar, and while it is obviously different than sugar found in candy bars or cookies, this sugar means fruit has higher calories than a vegetable for example. According to CNN Health Expert Dr. Melina Jampolis,

Fruits and vegetables, which are higher in water and fiber and lower in calories than other foods, are less likely to cause weight gain or prevent weight loss, as you would have to eat much larger portions to consume too many calories. However, fruit has almost three times the calories per serving as nonstarchy vegetables, so it is easier to consume too many fruit calories, which can interfere with weight loss. I frequently see patients who think of fruit as a “free food” and are unknowingly consuming up to 250 extra calories a day, which could prevent them from losing one pound of fat every two weeks!

She recommends sticking to 3 servings per day. I also recommend making sure you eat the correct serving size, and also look at nutritional facts for different fruits. Bananas and apples contain more calories, carbs and sugar than berries do. I try to eat more berries, and save the banana or apple for a pre or post-workout snack.

I would also be wary of those fruit smoothies. Sometimes I see people posting pictures of their smoothies, yet the ingredients are all fruits. That is a looootttt of sugar and hundreds of calories. The calories are fine, depending on your goals, but sugar, even if it’s natural, should be limited.

Also, don’t kid yourself into thinking drinking a cup or orange or apple juice counts as fruit. That is not a serving of fruit! Check the ingredients. Most likely, it’s fruit concentrate (and has preservatives).

The CDC has a great calculator that tells you how much fruit and veggies you should eat depending on your age, sex and activity level. According to this, I should have 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of veggies per day. If I made a multi-fruit smoothie, that would be way over my alotted amount. They also provide nutritional information for different fruits, and what fruits to eat if you are trying to lose weight.

Remember, everything is good in moderation. Yes, fruits are healthy, full of fiber, and nutritious, but you just need to make sure you’re not eating too much. Stick to berries, and save the higher calorie fruits for a pre or post-workout snack. I love bananas and apples with peanut butter!

What is your take on fruit? What’s your favorite fruit? Mine’s definitely bananas!

Find my other “Thinking Out Loud” posts here.

 

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2 Responses to “Fruit is Healthy…Right?”

  1. moderngirlnutrition January 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    I’ve definitely wondered about this but try not to worry about fruit sugar too much. Berries are great for cutting back on sugar though!

    • reach-yourpeak January 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

      As long as the sugar, calories and carbs fits into what you should be eating its fine! But as with anything, if you’re over eating and trying to lose weight, it won’t work. I love berries too! And banana smoothies yummmm

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