Which fruits are better for me? And which are too high in sugar and ought to be avoided?
In short, all fruit is a tremendous source of vitamins and minerals that are often under consumed. Think fiber, potassium, vitamin C and folic acid. All of these (and others!) are essential for healthy living. That is then, ALL fruits are nutritious choices to include, so please consume a variety from day to day to compliment a meal.
Let's detail one of these benefits to eating fruit a bit further. Bring on the fiber! What's all the hype about fiber? Fiber helps improve cholesterol and heart health, promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation, and also, keep us feeling full longer.
And how much fiber do we need each day? According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, women need an average of 25 grams per day, and men, 38.
Fruit is a good source of fiber, as are so many other foods. Examples of high fiber carbohydrate choices include whole grains, beans and lentils, and starchy and non-starchy vegetables. What do these foods all have in common? Carbohydrate. Thus, we must include carbohydrate daily to consume adequate fiber.
If you had not been consuming fiber previously and are looking to increase your intake, please fill up on fluids as you do so. Since fiber will add bulk to your stool, there must be plenty of water to help move the stool through your gut. Those who are short on water may notice abdominal cramping and discomfort as they increase fiber intake. This can be prevented by drinking plenty of water as you add fiber!
Want to know the breakdown of fiber between some different fruits? Check out the table below. All fruits can be included in a healthy diet, and variety is a good thing.
Gretchen Stroberg, RD, LD, CDCES
Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist