How many times have you been told to eat more fruits and vegetables? According to the USDA, the average person should eat approximately 1.5-2 cups of fruits per day. Fruits are an important source of fiber and antioxidants and have been shown to reduce risk of cancers and other chronic diseases. However, it is important to keep in mind that all fruits are NOT created equal!
The National Kidney Foundation offer 5 tips for making healthy fruit choices:
- Watch for the dried disguise. Often touted as a “healthy snack,” dried fruits can be packed with calories and should be limited in your diet. Check out these calorie counts:
- 1 cup of raisins = 493 calories
- 1 cup of dried dates = 414 calories
- 1 cup of dried prunes = 418 calories
These fresh fruit options are all less than 100 calories:
- 1 medium apple
- 1 medium banana
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup grapes
To put it in perspective, the dried fruits listed above contain more calories than a chocolate frosted cake donut (370 calories)! Be informed and choose your calories wisely!
The bottom line: Fruits are an important and necessary part of your daily diet, but they do contain natural sugars and calories. Select wisely and consume high calorie fruits and fruit juices in moderation. Remember, variety is as important as quantity!Please note that actual calorie content may vary by brand.