With the summer season upon us, our choices of delicious, fresh, and local produce will grow. With all of the anti-carb hoopla out there, I hear many with impressions of “good” and “bad” fruits.
I am happy to tell you that there is no such thing as a bad fruit. All fruits are excellent sources of important vitamins, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber. All fruits also contain carbohydrate, which provide our bodies with energy, and they are naturally fat-free and low in calories*. Each serving of fruit is about 60 calories, compared to the 80 calories found in servings of other carbohydrate foods.
Serving sizes may vary depending on the fruit. Here are some examples of what constitutes one serving of fruit:
4 oz. apple or pear
½ grape fruit
1 cup berries (any type)
10-12 large grapes
½ cup pineapple
1 cup cubed melon (any type)
Substitute fresh fruit for an unhealthy dessert. It will satisfy that post-dinner sweet craving with less calories and lots of nutrition benefit.
*The only exception to this is avocado. While it is considered a fruit, it is mostly comprised of fat. The good news is that it is comprised of healthy monounsaturated fats that are actually good for us. Because of the high fat content, it does contain more calories than other fruits, so watch the portions. A recommended serving would be approximately 1/6 of an avocado.
Sweet potatoes are a healthy and delicious vegetable. They are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C and dietary fiber. Here is a delicious recipe posted earlier this week for a sweet potato soup. It’s low in calories and fat, and high in fiber and flavor.
Gourmet Frozen Yogurt is everywhere. They are chic, cool, and delicious! Last summer my girls and I were addicted to the local Yumz. While the saturated fat content of frozen yogurt makes is a better choice than regular ice cream, keep a heads up on portions and toppings.
A half-cup of frozen yogurt is approximately 100 calories, depending on the flavor. The containers at most gourmet yogurt places probably hold at least 2 cups which, if full, would translate into more like 400 calories, just for the yogurt.
1 oz. of chocolate syrup adds 80 calories, ¼ cup walnuts sprinkled on top adds another 150 calories, and then top it off with 2 tablespoons of whipped topping for 15 calories. This brings us to a final total of 645 calories, about ½ of a woman’s daily calorie needs and 1/3 of a man’s.
This being said, the saturated and trans fat content of frozen yogurt is zero, and it is also a good source of calcium. The key is to keep the portion limited to ½-1 cup of yogurt and choose healthier toppings like fresh fruit.
With that being said, enjoy this warm weather with a special, healthy treat of gourmet frozen yogurt!
Need some motivation to help you lose a few pounds for the summer? If you haven’t already checked it out, I recommend My Fitness Pal. I recently started using it again to get me back on track.
You can enter your weight goals (loss, maintenance, or gain), age, and activity level, etc. and it will generate a modest daily calorie goal to help you attain your goal. Throughout the day you enter the foods you consume as well as the activities you perform and it keeps track of how many calories you have left to spend to meet your daily goal.
It’s a great motivator to help you make better choices, to eat less, or to exercise more. It’s available both online and in a free app format.
My daughter turned eight this past week. Birthdays are always a favorite celebration of mine because I am a cake fiend. It doesn’t matter what form or flavor it is – or what kind of frosting it has – buttercream, cream cheese, whipped cream. They are all my favorites.
Yes, folks – dietitians also have their weaknesses when it comes to food.
So needless to say, I was super excited to bring home the insane cake we ordered for my daughter from the local grocery store. It was a beautiful Monster High chocolate sheet cake with fudge filling and buttercream frosting in multiple colors.
Do I even need to remind everyone how unhealthy something like this is? Didn’t think so. I need to remind myself, however, because there’s still half the cake left in my fridge and I need to try to prevent myself from eating it all.
Not only is it high in calories and saturated fat, it has 3g of trans fat in one slice. These are the worst fats because they can both lower good cholesterol and increase bad cholesterol levels. You’re not supposed to consume less than 2g/day and 1 piece contains more than that.
It’s a sad, sad truth my friends. At least birthdays only come around once a year.
Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator
Kate has been working as a registered dietitian for 10 years. She specializes in educating people with diabetes. She enjoys teaching others about nutrition and giving people practical and realistic ideas on how to make healthy lifestyle changes.