As with grains and vegetables, most Australians only eat about half the recommended number of serves of fruit that they should each day! We also tend to drink too much fruit juice! Whole fruit is always a better option than fruit juice. Juices are usually low in fibre and can be quite high in kJ’s. A glass of freshly squeezes orange juice is much higher in kJ’s than eating a single orange. An orange is about 258kJ where as a 250ml glass of orange juice is about 466kJ which is getting close to double the Kj’s. The reason juice is higher is because it takes more than one piece of fruit to make a glass of juice. There are still plenty of nutrients in fresh juice, but because it usually lacks fibre, it tends not to fill you up like a piece of fruit and adds a lot of kJ’s to your day.
As with all other fresh produce, we’re very spoilt for choice in Australia. It’s a good idea to eat what’s in season. It’s not only is it fresher eating fruit that are in season, it also adds to the variety of nutrients you consume and like vegetables eating a variety of different coloured fruit means you’ll be getting a good mix of nutrients.
There is increasingly more evidence appearing that suggests the nutrients in whole fruits are more effective at reducing your risk of cancer than specific vitamin and mineral supplements. Evidence also suggests that some risk factors for cancer can be avoided by eating the suggested serves of fruit, vegetables and legumes during childhood and early adult life.
Like vegetables, fruits are natures perfect vitamin pills! For most people consuming the suggested serves of the 5 food groups each day, will more than meet your nutrient needs.
It’s ok to eat frozen or canned fruits for convenience, but for canned fruit its best to choose fruit canned in juice with no added sugars or syrups.
How many serves of fruit should you have each day?
Adult men and women of all ages should aim for 2 serves of fruit each day, that includes pregnant and lactating women.
Toddlers should have ½ a serve of fruit each day.
2 to 3-year-old girls and boys should have 1 serve of fruit each day.
4 to 8-year-old girls and boys should have 1 ½ serves of fruit each day.
9 to 18-year-old girls and boys should be aiming to have 2 serves of fruit each day.
What is a serves of fruit?
Its ok to occasionally have juice or dried fruit, but you have to remember it’s very easy to over consume these which will add a lot of extra kJ’s to your day. They have also both been connected to tooth decay. So make sure you stick to the serving sizes below and only have them very occasionally.
Using fruit as a mid-morning and mid afternoon snack is an easy way to make sure you cover your serves of fruit each day.
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