Pineapple isn’t only refreshing, its natural sweetness can help curb your sweet tooth if you’re in need of a treat. You’ll get lots of vitamin C, as well as some fiber, potassium, B vitamins and vitamin A from a single serving of pineapple. Choose fresh pineapple without added sugars, so you don't add a ton of calories to your diet.
Adult women can have 1.5 to 2 cups or equivalents of fruit each day, according to ChooseMyPlate.gov. So, if you wanted to use pineapple as one of your servings, a full 1-cup serving of pineapple chunks, 8 ounces of pineapple juice or one-half cup of dried pineapple, each amount to a 1-cup equivalent of fruit. You’ll just have to measure out your portion ahead of time. Otherwise, you might keep nibbling and quickly go over your fruit allowance for the day.
Your first choice for getting your daily servings of fruit should always be fresh varieties, so you don’t get unnecessary added sugar in your diet. One cup of raw pineapple chunks provides a minimal 80 calories. Most of the calories come from carbs, although pineapple does have a trace amount of fat and protein.
Canned pineapple is preserved in a sugary substance to add flavor and extend the shelf life. Of course you can also have canned pineapple if fresh pineapple isn’t available, you’ll just have to get the kind with light syrup. A 1-cup serving of canned pineapple in light syrup contains way more calories than the fresh variety -- 130 calories to be exact. Just as a comparison, the same amount of pineapple packed in heavy syrup contains an astounding 200 calories, or two and a half times the calories of a cup of fresh pineapple chunks.
You’ll get around 130 calories from an 8-ounce serving of unsweetened pineapple juice. The downfall is that you won’t get all the fiber that helps keep you full. Pineapple chunks have roughly 2 grams of fiber per cup, but if you have an 8-ounce glass of juice instead, you’ll only get 0.5 grams of fiber.
Dried pineapple should only be a last resort, since it is often loaded with sugar and you’ll get more calories than you may realize. A half-cup contains as much as 280 calories and only 1 gram of fiber. This is three and a half times more calories than fresh pineapple and only half the fiber.
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: What Counts as a Cup of Fruit?
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Pineapple, Raw, All Varieties
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Pineapple, Canned, Light Syrup Pack, Solids and Liquids
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Pineapple, Canned, Heavy Syrup Pack, Solids and Liquids
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Pineapple Juice, Canned, Unsweetened, Without Added Ascorbic Acid
- MyFitnessPal: Calories in Sunmaid Tropical Dried Pineapples
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.