Most fruits (excluding dried fruit) are eMarked 1e blue, indicating that they are very low energy density foods that give you long-lasting energy levels. You can include plenty of fruit in your daily meal plan.
Fruit comes in many forms – fresh, frozen, canned, juiced and dried. With the exceptions of avocado and olives, all fruits are low fat, and most have a high water content.
Fruit also provides nutrients that are very important to your health, including carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins such as A and C, and minerals such as magnesium and potassium.
The colour of the fruit gives us valuable information – for example, yellow and orange fruit like oranges, grapefruit, rock melon and paw paw have large amounts of Vitamin A, which keeps your skin and eyes healthy and helps your body to fight infection. Kiwifruit, tamarillos, grapes, plums, citrus, in fact all brightly coloured fruit, also provide Vitamin C, which your body needs every day to function efficiently. That’s why we need to choose a range of different coloured fruits when we go shopping.
Fruit is also a good source of dietary fibre, which is broken down slowly in the body, keeping you feeling fuller for longer and giving you long-lasting or medium energy levels. The type of fibre found in fruit may also help to lower cholesterol levels.
Aim to have at least two servings of fruit every day in your meals and snacks. Add some fruit to your breakfast cereal; top toast with sliced banana; blend soft fruits such as peaches and kiwifruit with milk or yoghurt to make smoothies; and serve fresh seasonal fruit as a dessert. Some examples of appropriate serving sizes for fruits are as follows.
|Apple||1e blue||1 medium sized apple (123g)|
|Apricots, canned in syrup||1e green||½ cup (89g)|
|Banana||1e blue||½ banana|
|Grapes||1e blue||½ cup (93g)|
Although dried fruits and some fruit juices count towards your fruit intake for the day, eat them in moderation if you are trying to lose weight. Dried fruits have a higher energy density than fresh fruit, and fruit loses most of its natural fibre in the juicing process. Canned fruit is acceptable, but try to buy fruit that is canned in natural juice, or drain the syrup from canned fruit.
Find out how many servings of fruit are in your recommended eMark meal plan