Sometimes fruit gets a bad reputation. Have you ever heard someone saying to watch how much fruit you eat because it's full of sugar? This is a myth that needs unravelling.
If eaten in their natural or whole state, fruit truly is one of natures wonder foods. They meet most of the criteria for healthy eating by delivering so many benefits and come in their own packaging!
Delivering a potent mix of essential vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants to boost the immune system and fight cancer, most fruits are usually low in fat, reduced energy density, low GI, and are high in fibre.
Let's explore these a little more…..
Low fat: Just about all fruits are well below the recommended 10g fat per serve. Some fruits such as avocado do contain fat (approximately 14g/100g) but the majority of this fat is good fat (mono and poly unsaturated fats).
Reduced energy density: This is the end-game in calorie control. Whist experts are yet to set guidelines, most agree that foods that are less than 7kJ/gram are ok to eat freely. Here are three examples:
<table BORDER="1" CELLSPACING="0" CELLPADDING="5"> <tr> <td>Apples</td> <td>1.5kJ/g</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Bananas</td> <td>3.4kJ/g</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mandarin</td> <td>2.2kJ/g</td> </tr> </table>
Anything above 12kJ/g is considered high in energy density.
Low GI: The glycaemic Index (GI) provides a measure of the rate at which glucose enters the blood stream. Those with a high score (>70) enter quickly and give you a quick rise in energy, but drop you down leaving you feeling lethargic. Low GI foods are those that measure less than 50 such as:
<table BORDER="1" CELLSPACING="0" CELLPADDING="5"> <tr> <td>Grapes</td> <td>43</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Apple</td> <td>39</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Bananas</td> <td>42</td> </tr> </table>
High Fibre: Foods high in dietary fibre are great for bowel health, can increase the feeling of fullness, and may even lower cholesterol. Plant based foods such as fruits are one of the best sources of fibre.
So although people may think to be careful with fruit because they are full of sugar, we now know different. Feasting on fruit is a great part of a healthy lifestyle.For more information on healthy foods go to <a href="http://au.rd.yahoo.com/health/lsmedicine/SIG=11fqu1soj/**http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lifestylemedicine.net.au%2F" rel="nofollow">www.lifestylemedicine.net.au</a>.