Fruits should be eaten in moderation because they can be relatively high in natural sugars.
Food for thought…
- Most non-organic produce is sprayed with a variation of synthetic, chemically derived pesticides. Have you considered the long-term effects from chronic exposure to these chemicals by eating fruit treated with them? Just remember, pesticides can seep into the fruit. Even if you wash, skin or peel the fruit, you may still be exposing yourself.
- Honey bees are responsible, in one way or another, for the pollination of numerous fruits and vegetables. Without pollination, we would lose many of our consumable crops. Have you considered how spraying crops with pesticides could be detrimental to the environment AND vital insects, such as honey bees?
- When adding fruit into your diet, do you think there’s more nutritional value in consuming the entire fruit or drinking fruit juice?
- Have you compared the amount of sugar in a glass of fruit juice to a can of soda?
- Would you consider canning or freezing local fruit if it cut down on costs?
The “No, No’s”: What should you steer clear of when it comes to fruits?
- Avoid fruits canned in heavy or light syrups; instead, choose fruits that are canned in their own juices or water.
- Avoid dried or dehydrated fruits that are sweetened, coated with sugars or have added oils.
- Avoid fruit juice with any added ingredients other than the fruit itself.
So, what’s okay to eat when it comes to fruits?
- The fruits themselves - raw or frozen
- Fruits canned in their own natural juices or water, with no added sugars or sweeteners
- Fruit sauces, such as applesauce, with no added sugars or sweeteners
- Dried or dehydrated fruits in limited amounts (just the fruit and nothing more)
- Drink 100% pressed fruit juice sparingly (examples: cranberry and orange juice)
Some of our favorite FULLfood fruits for you to try
- Avocado (limit to ¼- ½ of an avocado daily; they're high in healthy fats and calories)
- Coconut (raw)
- Dragon Fruit
Some things to look for when checking fruit labels and ingredients
- Basically, the only ingredients that should be listed are the actual fruit, its natural juices, water and minimal salt.
- Look for fruits that are not sprayed with chemicals or pesticides. When this is not an option, consider organic fruits. Pesticides can seep into fruits and vegetables. Even after they have been washed and peeled, they aren’t pesticide free.
- This is where the The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists may help you. Understanding these lists can help you keep costs down when trying to choose organic versus non-organic fruits and vegetables.
Where to find your fruits
- When possible, eat local fruits, often found at local farms, farmers’ markets and orchards.
- Frozen fruits are a great option when seasonal fruits are not available.
- Unsweetened canned fruits in their own natural juices or water are another option when seasonal fruits are not available.
- Whether local or store-bought, organic or not, always check the ingredients!
FULLfood facts and fun
- Some fruits and vegetables have a higher level of pesticide use than others. A general way to judge which fruits and vegetables may or may not have a high level of chemicals and pesticides is by considering the outer peel or skin. Fruits such as bananas or pineapples are less likely to have insects penetrate through the thick outer peel or skin, so the likelihood of pesticide use is much less than in a strawberry.
- Bananas and grapes are especially high in natural sugars and carbs, so they should be eaten in limited amounts.
- Did you know dried and dehydrated fruits don’t eliminate or reduce the sugars from the whole fruit? Instead, the sugars are concentrated into a smaller package. If you eat these little sweets, keep them to a minimum. You don’t want to end up consuming the same amount of sugar in a quick handful of raisins than you would from eating a large bowl of grapes.
- For added nutrients, leave the skin on when eating fruit.
- Make eating local foods fun! The next time you have a free day, go visit a local orchard, market or farm to take a tour or talk with the farmer or staff. You’d be surprised how neat it is to actually see where your fruit comes from!
- Want to save money and have fun? Go to a local farm or orchard that allows you to pick your own seasonal fruit! It’s often fresher and cheaper than buying pre-picked and packaged fruits.
Tips and preparation
- Cut up seasonal fruit, bag it in freezer bags and freeze it. We love to do this every summer with local blueberries and strawberries.
- Freeze overly ripe fruit for a wonderful addition to smoothies.
- Slice bananas into thirds and freeze them for smoothies.
- Rather than using syrups or added sugars, can your fruit in water and the juices from the fruit. We do this every year with local peaches. There are MANY resources online that will give you guidance on canning. Check it out!
- Raw fruit is an awesome snack. Slice fruit at the start of the week and make fruit salad for a quick snack to eat on the go!
Tips when eating out
- Avoid ordering fruit or fruit salads canned in syrup. Ask your server if the fruit is freshly cut or canned. If it’s canned fruit, you should probably avoid eating it due to added syrups and sugars.
- Avoid ordering applesauce that is sweetened.
- Take inventory of your pantry and eliminate any “no-no” fruits, such as fruits canned in syrups and dehydrated fruits that are sweetened, coated with sugars or have added oils.
- Using the information above, include at least one healthy fruit in your diet every day this week as a snack or with a meal.
- Consider familiarizing yourself with the The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists to help keep costs down.