diet

How much fruit is too much?

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

By Judy Davie

"I eat a lot of fruit every day as part of my weight-loss program (I eat about five serves/pieces a day). Am I getting too much natural sugar? Will eating lots of fruit help with weight loss?"
— Kate


I don't know anyone who has got fat from eating fruit and if it's stopping you eating other sweet foods like muffins and biscuits, then it's a good thing.

Five pieces of fruit, however, such as two apples, an orange, a pear and a kiwi fruit, is the equivalent of 1900 KJ and makes up nearly 30 percent of the daily energy allowance on an energy-restricted diet of 6500KJ a day.

It's not a problem provided you ensure you are also getting a balance of other essential nutrients such as Vitamin A, B group vitamins, iron and calcium, but it could be a bit of a juggling act. These nutrients are found in low-fat dairy (for calcium), red meat* (for iron), green, orange and red vegetables (for vitamin A, folate and numerous other vitamins), wholegrain cereals (for B vitamins and insoluble fibre) and good fats (for vitamin E and essential fats).

Here's an example of an excellent day's eating plan where you meet your nutritional requirements**, consume five pieces of fruit and stick within the energy confines of 6500Kj a day.

NB: Always buy small pieces of fruit and eat them during the day rather than late at night.

Breakfast: ½ cup low-sugar natural muesli, with skimmed milk, one kiwi fruit and one small pear.

Morning tea: One small sized red apple, one coffee made with skim milk.

Lunch: Two slices wholegrain bread with two slices avocado, 1/3 cup grated carrot, two thin slices chicken breast, one small tomato, lettuce, one medium sized green apple.

Afternoon tea: One medium orange with 200g fat-free natural yoghurt.

Dinner: One grilled fillet steak (140g) served with two small boiled potatoes, one cup steamed broccoli with quarter tablespoon olive oil.

Total kilojoules: 6512KJ


*Good sources of iron also include octopus, mussels and oysters.

**The new RDI calcium for bone strength and to prevent osteoporosis in women is 1000mg, achievable when you include low-fat dairy in your diet. A broad-spectrum multivitamin is a good idea when on an energy-reduced diet as it will help you achieve the RDI nutrients without increasing your energy intake from food.

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