Monday, 28 January 2013

There Are More Calories In Fruit Than You Might Think

By Darnell Visini

Fruits are widely acknowledged by dietitians to be a healthy food rich with vitamins, minerals and energy. They have a generous amount of vitamins A and C plus potassium. They have low fat. Fruits are also a good source of dietary fiber, aiding digestion and reducing the risk of bowel cancer. Their water content is high (80 percent or more), aiding personal hydration. Some folks seem to think there are zero calories in fruit. Not quite; fruits have some calories but the count is relatively low.

At the low end of the scale, a single blackberry has one calorie, a cherry about two and a grape three. Further up the scale, the highest calorie amounts are present in oranges, apples, grapefruit, bananas and avocados. Dieters might be alarmed at these numbers, but this alarm is unnecessary.

Although these figures may seem high, they are in fact comparatively low. One serving (scoop) of plain vanilla ice cream (no topping) has a calorie count of 260 compared to a calorie count of about 100 in a standard cup of freshly cut fruit salad.

The preceding calorie numbers are trivial compared to the nutrition in fruits. Nutritionists conceded it is appropriate to be aware of the calorie amount in fruits. However they emphasize that eliminating the intake of fruits would be a very poor decision.

Many menu planners suggest eating a minimum of two and as many as four individual servings of fruits daily. A subsidiary benefit of eating fruits is that they help serious calorie counters to manage their appetite. This benefit results from the high fiber content of fruits. Fiber produces a feeling of fullness in the stomach which limits food intake. One diet strategy is to consume fruits before a regular meal so as to control overeating higher calorie foods.

Nutritionists recommend eating at least two servings per day. Some suggest as many as three or four servings daily. Their high fiber content helps to control appetite and food intake by inducing a feeling of fullness. Some people like to eat a piece of fruit before (not after) their regular meal to help limit overeating.

The consumption of fruit juices raise requires some caution. Pure and fresh juices are very popular way but if the pulp of fruits is not consumed with their juice, the dietary fiber in them is largely lost. Another point is that bottled or canned juices are typically high in sugars and therefore have a big calorie count. Hence, pure juices are strongly preferred by dietitians over bottled or canned juices.

The calories in fruits are of little concern relative to the calorie count found in other foods with similar nutrition. Eating vegetables and fruits is widely considered to be a good way to manage weight gain and achieve a balanced healthy diet. Happily, there is an abundance of fruits to liven up a menu plan and avoid a low calorie plan from becoming boring and eroding motivation. Experts agree that eating fruits is a good idea; by all means count their calorie content, but do not stop eating them, especially in preference to candies, cookies and cakes.

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