Fruit contains naturally-occurring sugar called fructose making it sweet and delicious! People worry about sugar in fruit..please don’t! The recommendations in relation to sugar we hear so much about are referring to added sugar. Added sugar has been added to the food during manufacture. It could appear on a food label as ‘sugar’, sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup,rice syrup.. the list goes on! Point is, fruit is amazingly healthy. It contains naturally occurring sugar BUT is also packed full of nutrients, fibre to keep us full but is also naturally very low in energy.
We know that eating enough fruit can help to reduce our risk of disease such as diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease. Eating fruit provides us with lots of fibre which keep our digestive systems healthy plus keeps us feeling fuller for longer. Other common snack foods often do not contain enough fibre. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 6g of fibre per 100g when choosing a food. Fruit is naturally a great source of fibre so it’s a super choice. Eating fruit as a snack or after a meal can satisfy a sweet tooth and provide a whole host of water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C and Vitamin B. Minerals like potassium, phosphorous and magnesium are just some of the important minerals that can be found in fruit.
Aim to include a wide variety of both fruit and vegetables throughout the day – pop some fruit on your breakfast in the morning, add it to your break-time snack, add some more veggies into your dinner, finish the day with a fruity snack and enjoy natures delicious candy! In terms of portion size 2 small fruits such as mandarins, plums or kiwis counts as one portion, a handful of berries counts as one portion, a medium apple or pear counts as one portion and a slice of pineapple or melon counts as one portion.
Keep an eye out for our top tips for eating more fruit in our January 4×4 Challenge and get involved to win some amazing prizes!
Emma Brennan is a qualified Nutritionist and is a registered member of the Association for Nutrition (AFN). Emma attained her qualification in Human Nutrition from Ulster University, Coleraine. Emma has a passion for all things nutrition and health related and her mission is to educate the public about their health and wellbeing through her blogs, videos and nutrition tips online and through the Good4U Nutrition Service provided to schools, sports clubs and businesses.