Sure, we would all love to buy everything we eat organic and process free, but who can afford that in today’s economic times. I struggle with the issue of spending so much on food especially if it isn’t all eaten before it goes bad. If you are buying veggies on a budget, try to go organic for the Dirty Dozen foods. These top 12 are known to be grown with the most pesticides. The rest you can probably get by not buying organic. Regardless, any fruit or vegetable (organic or not) is still better than that McDonald’s cheeseburger so don’t spend too much time worrying!
The Truth About Fruit
Fruits are a summer staple and excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Whether it’s the antioxidants from berries, the cold preventing properties of citrus fruits, or the hydration benefits of water based fruits like watermelon, each fruit has a unique set of benefits. The recommended daily amount of fruit is dependent on total calorie intake but can lie anywhere between 3 and 7 servings. Here is an example of what you would be looking at to meet these requirements.
- 1/2 cup (4 fluid oz.) 100% fruit juice
- 1 medium fruit
- 1/2 cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit
- 1/4 cup dried fruit
Now Comes The Point Of This Article
With summer right around the corner, people start to become more concerned with their body image and composition. Being cognizant of foods you are putting in your body is essential to a lean physique. Fruits are no exception. Believe it or not, too much fruit or the wrong fruits can lead to increased body fat due to an excess amount of sugar ( in the form of fructose and glucose). Especially for those that aren’t as active as they should be, (you know who you are) limiting carbohydrate and sugar intake is important to keeping body fat off.
What To Eat
Choose 3-4 low carb fruit servings
- Berries– Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are a staple in my diet. They are loaded with antioxidants, provide a great source of fiber, have a low glycemic value, and taste great. Add 1/2 cup to your oatmeal or breakfast in the morning (1/2 cup)
- Calories- 42
- Carbs- 12 g
- Fat- 0g
- Protein- 1 g
- Grapefruit– Grapefruits have high amounts of water content which helps boost metabolism as well as containing numerous antioxidants. Grapefruits have a low glycemic value and contain soluble fiber which will help fill you up while being low in calories. (1/2 medium grapefruit)
- Calories- 40
- Carbs- 9g
- Fat- 0g
- Protein- 1g
- Watermelon– One of the main health benefits of watermelon is its status as a powerful antioxidant, found in vitamins A and C. Watermelons are moderately high in sugar with a glycemic value of 72, but small amounts, especially after a workout can be part of a healthy diet. (1 wedge- approximately 1/16 of the watermelon)
- Calories- 86
- Carbs- 22g
- Fat- 0g
- Protein- 2 g
- Kiwi– Kiwifruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, as one large kiwifruit contains about as much vitamin C as 6 oz of orange juice. They are also a very good source of vitamin K, and a good source of potassium and copper. (1 medium sized fruit)
- Calories- 46
- Carbs- 11 g
- Fat- 0g
- Protein- 1g
- Sugar-7 g
When To Eat Fruit
- In the mornings-A low glycemic fruit in the morning before breakfast will kick-start your day with powerful antioxidants and soluble fiber that will keep you feeling full. The sugar in the fruit will be burned off throughout your daily activities and workout as well. NOT AT NIGHT. A midnight snack is OK but don’t reach for the fruit and think it’s a healthy choice. Fruit digests out of the stomach in 20-30 minutes. If fruit is consumed at night, it will sit on top of the slower digesting foods and cause indigestion/excess fat storage.
- Before a workout– A simple carb (fruit) 30-60 minutes before a workout will be converted into glucose and used by the body as energy during your workout.
- After a workout– A simple carbohydrate within 30 minutes after your workout will help restore glycogen levels and raise insulin levels which will help muscle growth. This is the only time of the day when a high glycemic fruit is acceptable such as a ripe banana or a dried apricot. Make sure you don’t overdo it on portion size and try to pair the simple carb with a protein source for an optimal recovery source.
Have an orange. Not orange juice
Fruits are essential to a well-balanced diet. Like all food, moderation is key. Whenever possible, stay away from fruit juices as most contain artificial sweeteners and loads of added sugars. Fruits like apples, bananas, and dried fruits have high amounts of sugars and carbohydrates and should be timed appropriately around your workout. Eat fruits that you will give you the most bang for your buck. Things like berries, which are loaded with antioxidants but relatively low in calories, carbohydrates, and sugars will help contribute to an optimal diet and ideal body composition.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.
From South Bend,