Not all fruits are created equal. While most guidelines for good health say “eat 5 fruits or vegetables per day”, we should understand that they do not mean it is ok to eat 5 bananas which are very high in sugar to meet this requirement. These fruits also are lower in fiber and contain certain types of sugar which may contribute to weight gain. In general, you want to avoid these fruits in juices or dried forms as it would be easy to overindulge and consume too many calories at once.
Here is a list of fruits and the amount of calories they contain. You want to limit if you are trying to lose weight or if you have diabetes. However any of these fruits in moderation would be an ok substitute for any desserts (cookies, cupcakes, ice cream) if you need a “sweet treat”. As a frame of reference, a typical person needs 2000 calories per day and one can of soda is about 140 calories:
- Banana or plantains: 9 inch=135 calories (ALMOST 1 can of soda!), 7 inch=105 calories
- Grapes: (30 small grapes)=100 calories
- Raisins: 1 single serve box=129 calories
- Mangoes: 1 medium sized mango=200 calories (more than 1 can of soda!)
- Pineapple: 1 cup=100 calories
- Watermelon: 1 slice=140 calories
- Dried dates: 1 cup=400 calories!!!!
Here are some fruits/vegetables that may be better choices. Some may be higher in calories, but due to their higher fiber content, you will actually absorb less of the calories.
- Apples: medium=70 calories
- Carrots: medium=25 calories
- Blueberries: 1 cup=85 calories
- Strawberries: 1 cup=40 calories
- Blackberries: 1 cup=60 calories
- Pears: 1 small=85 calories (4.6 grams of fiber)