By Nutritionist Blogger Jeni Tackett, RD, LD
I would like to convince you to eat more fruit. There is a lot of talk about the dangers of added sugar in the diet, and added sugar should be avoided as much as possible.
Sugar-laden drinks such as regular soda pop, lemonade, and sweet tea are packed with calories that have no nutritional value.
High-sugar treats such as candy, cookies, and cakes do not have vitamins, minerals, or phytochemicals.
Naturally-sweet fruits, on the other hand, are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
Think of fruits as nature’s dessert. Fruits are whole foods that are good for you and your family. You do not need to fear the natural sugar in fruits and vegetables. Our muscles and brains use the sugar in fruits for energy! And I don’t know anyone who is overweight because they eat too many fruits.
How many fruits should you eat? The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet recommends 10 servings of fruits and vegetables and is the best ranked diet in the US.
You should aim for 3-5 fruits each day. Here are some serving sizes:
1 cup of melon
1 cup of berries
1 small apple or pear
Mangos, Papayas and Star Fruits, Oh My!
Most Americans only consume 1 or 2 fruits a day, and often their choices are very limited (such as apples and bananas).
When I was a little girl, my Dad and I would go to the supermarket and pick up exotic fruits such as coconut, star fruit, mango, and papaya. Then we would go home and enjoy the new fruits. I was truly destined to be a dietitian!
Did you know the mango and papaya are nutrition powerhouses? Here are their stats:
1 cup of mango meets 100% of your Vitamin C needs and 35% of your Vitamin A needs with just 100 calories.
1 cup of papaya meets 147% of your Vitamin C needs and 27% of your Vitamin A needs with just 60 calories.
Make an effort to fill your stomach up with fiber and nutrient-rich fruits. The natural sugar in the fruits will fuel your muscles and your mind!
|Meet Jeni Tackett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutrition Blogger. Jeni is a registered and licensed dietitian for Rock Valley Health who counsels her clients on weight loss and nutrition. You can read Jeni’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.|