The Skinny on Fruit
Although some diet books and self proclaimed experts denounce fruits for their sugar content, the reality is fruit is an important dietary constituent. Fruits carry a diversity of nutritional elements and supply fiber, antioxidants and water to the diet. The calories per serving have extremely limited impact on daily caloric intake and the sweetness can be a viable option to many processed food snack choices. Most people who consume fruit have a few selections that they are familiar with and eat with some regularity but possible selections are quite abundant.
The apple, orange, and banana are well-known constituents likely followed by the more common commercial fruits including watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe, and honey dew. Although any fruit is a good choice, eating a variety of fruits in one’s diet is what brings about nutrient balance. One way to experience dietary variety and assure the optimal flavor is to follow the fruit seasons. Since fruit in season is much more abundant and therefore cheaper and fresher it would be prudent to use this metric as a guide for shopping and eating. Secondly, each fruit contains a varying amount of each nutrient, so an additional strategy revolves around the combination of certain fruits to optimize nutrient intakes. Below is a chart that may aid in ensuring daily fruit intake reflects seasonal and balanced selections.