Healthy Eating Guidelines tell us Australians should eat two servings of fruit per day.
Unfortunately, many of us fail to do this, perhaps out of fear of consuming too much sugar or because we don’t like a particular fruit.
But there are simple ways to improve your fruit intake – and your body will thank you for it.
“I always advise people to eat seasonally because it’s cheaper and of better quality,” says registered dietitian Charlene Grosse.
“When you look at fruits and vegetables, it’s good to consume a variety that balances out throughout the week, but also a variety in every fruit and vegetable.”
This is because different fruits have different nutritional content – and the key is in their colors.
Oranges, for example, are high in vitamin C, while bananas are high in potassium.
Ms. Grosse recommends keeping an eye on the kaleidoscope of fruit you eat each week.
“It’s important to choose fruits of different colors,” she says.
A portion of fruit is defined as a portion that fits in the palm of your hand – for example, a small apple, a pear, or two apricots.
This can include pre-prepared portions (choose those in natural juice, no added sugar) but not fruit or dried fruit juice.
For 100% natural fruit juice (no added sugar), one serving is measured as half a cup (125 milliliters), which is something to consider before you go down that 600ml bottle.
“That would mean you couldn’t have any other fruit because of the recommendations for the day,” Ms. Grosse said.
Like fruit juices, dried fruits are higher in sugar than natural fruits.
For dried fruit, one serving is one and a half tablespoons.
“Each sultana is a whole grape; each dried apricot is a whole apricot, ”she says.
“It’s pretty easy to overeat dried fruit – and the sugar is more concentrated because the moisture has been removed.”
Dried fruits are also relatively low in fiber and can cause dental problems if they get stuck on the teeth.
It is also important to remember that two servings of fruit are enough each day.
It is not necessary to aim for more, and it could even be counterproductive.
“You should focus more on the vegetables,” Ms. Grosse said.
“Only 7% of Australians comply with the recommendations [of five serves a day] for vegetables. “
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