Fruit is healthy, right? Whether you're looking to lose weight or just stay healthy, fruit would seem the ideal choice. Grab a banana when you're feeling peckish, munch on an apple as a healthy snack or get through a punnet of strawberries to kill your sweet craving. It seems though, that not all fruit is healthy. While fruit certainly can be a part of a healthy diet, there are some fruits that should be a no-go on any woman's diet plan.
Healthy or Not
Many diets promote fresh fruit as a "free" food, the idea being you can eat as much as you like and still lose weight. This sounds incredibly appealing, but it isn't as simple as that, writes nutritionist Mike Roussell in "Shape Magazine." Fruits do contain fiber, which helps keep you feeling full, and are packed with antioxidants to reduce blood pressure, fight disease and aid weight loss. However, fruits contain fructose -- a simple sugar that can be stored as fat. Some fruits are also higher in calories, which could lead to weight gain.
Healthy fruits are generally lower in calories. This doesn't mean you have to compromise on taste, though. Berries are lower in carbohydrate, typically containing around 5 to 8 grams of carbs per 100 grams. Look for blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. Avocado is one of the only fruits to contain more than a trace amount of fat, but it is the heart-healthy monounsaturated kind. While you may associate fiber more with grain-based foods, avocado is a surprisingly fiber-packed fruit, as just 30 grams of avocado contains 2 grams of fiber. Grapefruit, melon and cherries also come with a low calorie count.
Dried fruit should definitely be on your list to avoid. While it does contain fiber, dried fruit is incredibly high in sugar. Bananas may look innocent, but one large banana can contain 31 grams of carbs, over half of which is sugar and more than 100 calories, while an apple comes in at over 30 grams of carbs, 116 calories and 23 grams of sugar. Pre-made fruit smoothies can also contain huge amounts of sugar and are secret calorie bombs, as is fruit juice.
You can still eat fruit as part of a healthy diet -- you just need to monitor your intake. The U.S. Department of Agriculture advises women to eat 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit per day. Aim for this amount, but choose low-sugar, low-carb fruits most of the time. Eat a wide variety, too, to ensure a host of vitamins and minerals.
- George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images