How much fruit is too much?
Health & Body

How much fruit is too much?

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.