Exploring Calories In Fruit
Nutritionists advise people of all ages to eat more fruits and vegetables, with an emphasis on raw produce and balancing the two. One reason this balance is important is to do with getting all of the necessary vitamins and minerals. Another reason is that eating too much fruit in preference to vegetables leads to consuming too many calories from sugar, especially where some fruits are concerned.
Some are obvious to spot and include the sweetest, most religious fruits: bananas, pineapple, apple, and pears, for example. Blueberries and raspberries, per weight, also contain more calories than grapefruit and cranberries.
There is more to food than calories, and some of the calories in fruit can also be attributed to fiber. For instance, pears are high in fiber, but also higher in calories than cherries when ripe. Cherries contain vitamins and nutrients too, and neither one is 'bad' for you. Also, sugar is not entirely bad either. Natural sugars, such as those found in fruit, are necessary fuels, providing energy in the form of carbohydrates so you can perform daily tasks.
Another point to consider is that while some foods are low in calories, they are also irritating to certain individuals. Some citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges, lemons) are thought to cause inflammation, so are avoided by many individuals with asthma and allergies. Certain fruits cause serious allergic reactions in certain people, a common example being strawberries, although this kind of reaction is reliably rare.
The way in which fruits are consumed is a critical factor in determining caloric content and nutritional value. For one thing, raw fruit is the best form because the nutrients and water content remain intact. As always, eating organic fruit is better than consuming that which has been sprayed with pesticides. There is value in the peel of many fruits too, so unpeeled apples and pears are often better than peeled ones, again if they have not been sprayed with chemicals.
Dried fruit contains less water and is, thus, less filling and sweeter. As a consequence, it is easier to eat more of them without realizing how quickly the calories are mounting and how this will affect the stomach later. Some dried fruits are coated in oil or dipped in sugar, giving them more fat and calories. Also, dried fruits frequently develop unseen molds when stored incorrectly.
Canned fruit is okay, but watch out for syrups. Fruit does not have to be preserved in sugar water. Fruit canned with juice is better, but juice still has lots of calories. Be careful about replacing water with juice as drink, because while you might think there are not many calories in juice, there are.
Jams and jellies are usually made by combining mashed fruit with sugar and pectin. There are sugar-free options available, but remember that a tablespoon of sugar-free strawberry jam (thickened by boiling away water and adding apples or apple sauce, which contains pectin naturally) is not the same as tablespoon of strawberries. First of all, if apple is added this affects the count, while boiling away the water in fruit intensifies its natural sugar content per tablespoon. Also, some jams are made by adding concentrated fruit juice with its natural sugars and high calorie content in place of processed sugar.