Why we should vary our fruit intake
We know that eating fruit is good for our health. Fruits are packed with essential nutrients and we should be including at least two serves a day in our regular diet. However, not all fruits are equal in their nutritional content, so it’s important to vary the kinds of fruits we eat.
What I have found quite surprising is the amount of sugar in some fruits. Its form of sugar is fructose and combined with the other nutrients in whole fruit, it is somewhat healthier, partially due to its slower release.
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My mother really didn't like most fruits except for bananas, so she made sure she had at least one banana each day – sometimes two, which of course is better than no fruit at all, but bananas are quite high in sugar content. A large banana has the equivalent of around five teaspoons of sugar, so over the course of a week she potentially consumed seventy teaspoons of sugar just from eating bananas.
This is not to say we shouldn't eat bananas. They are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods and are high in vitamin B6 as well as other good things like potassium and manganese. The message here is to include a wide variety of fruits to receive the most benefit from them.
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Here is a bit of a run-down of the sugar content of some commonly eaten fruits (medium-sized). The sugar content is shown in teaspoons.
- 1 Apple (medium) - 5.5 tsp
- 1 Apricot (medium) - 1 tsp
- 1 Banana (medium) - 4.25 tsp
- Blackberries (1 cup) - 2.25 tsp
- Blueberries (1 cup) - 4.25 tsp
- Cherries (10) - 2.25 tsp
- Clementine mandarin (1 cup) - 7 tsp
- Cranberries (1 cup) - 2 tsp
- Honeydew melon (1 cup) - 3.25 tsp
- Kiwi fruit (1 cup) - 3.5 tsp
- Mango (1 cup) - 7.5 tsp
- 1 Orange (medium) - 4 tsp
- 1 Peach (medium) - 1.5 tsp
- 1 Pear (medium) - 4.5 tsp
- Pineapple (1 cup) - 5.9 tsp
- 1 Plum (medium) - 2.75 tsp
- 1 Pomegranate (medium) - 6.25 tsp
- Raspberries (1 cup) - 2 tsp
- Strawberries (1 cup) - 1.5 tsp
- Watermelon (1 cup) - 2.75 tsp
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It was interesting to see such a significant variation in sugar content and there were a few surprises like apples, clementines and pomegranates. These sugar levels could be of concern especially for diabetics, so use this list as a reminder the next time you are buying fruits. Try to mix it up a bit so that all your good intentions are not wasted.
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235429 - 2023-07-18 00:13:19