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Ask the Expert Archive

Should you limit the sugar calories you eat each day in fresh fruit?


Q. Should you limit the sugar calories you eat each day in fresh fruit?


A. Bottom line is that most people need to eat more fruit each day, not less. Instead of avoiding fruit which has a great number of beneficial nutrients, avoid other foods that contain calories but no other beneficial nutrients (like non-diet sodas, cookies, cakes, candy.) Adults should strive to eat about 2 cups of fruit each day. (In fact, half of all the food you eat each day should be made up of fruit/vegetables.) If you are diabetic, you’ll want to space your fruit consumption throughout the day and have a bit of protein with it (nuts, for example). Because whole fruit is a better source of fiber and can make you feel fuller and slow digestion, choose whole fruit first (fresh, frozen, canned). You can include 100% fruit juice as part of your 2 cups of fruit each day (read the label to make sure it’s 100% juice), but we don’t recommend drinking all of your fruit as juice. Dried fruit is a great source of fruit and nutrients as well, but these are a bit more concentrated in natural sugar (only because they’ve been dehydrated and water has been removed).

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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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