Written by : Registered Dietitian (Australia) Chung Yong Man

 

Everyone says to eat more fruit, although fruit is beneficial is a cliché, but at the same time there are a number of mysteries: fruit is not very high in sugar? Will eating it cause fat? Is it necessary to eat fruit before meals in order to absorb the nutrients in the fruit? Let me break it down for you one by one.

 

Fruits can cause fat?

Yes, because fruit contains natural sugar – fructose, can provide calories, so a lot of fruit will intake too much calories, resulting in obesity. However, in addition to fructose, fruit also contains other nutrients, which have great health benefits. For example, oranges, kiwis and strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which helps to strengthen resistance. Bananas, melon and raisins are rich in potassium, which helps stabilize blood pressure. In addition, the dietary fiber in fruits can help prevent constipation and maintain intestinal health. I still encourage people to develop the habit of eating fruits every day, as long as the amount of fruits consumed is controlled, it will not lead to fructose overload.

 

According to the recommendations of the Hong Kong Department of Health, the daily portion of fruit intake is as follows.

Children aged 2 to 5 years: at least 1 serving per day

Children aged 6 to 11 years, adolescents, and adults: at least 2 servings per day

1 serving of fruit =

2 small fruits, e.g., kiwi, plum

1 medium-sized fruit, e.g. orange, apple

Half a large fruit, e.g. banana, dragon fruit

Half a bowl of granular fruit, e.g., lychee, grapes, longan, or cut watermelon, melon

1 tablespoon of dried fruit without added sugar or salt, such as dried raisins, dried prunes

I recommend that you eat 2 to 3 servings of fruit daily, and that you choose more fruits of different types and colors to get a more comprehensive intake of different nutrients.

 

Eating fruit before meals is the most “nutritious”?

There is a popular belief that eating fruits before meals is more nutritious. In fact, there is no scientific basis for this view, healthy people can eat fruit at any time. However, for some people who are in the process of weight control, adjusting the time of eating fruits may help, because the dietary fiber of fruits can increase the feeling of fullness, and eating fruits before meals can help them avoid eating too much during meals, or they can arrange to eat fruits after meals to prevent eating other high-calorie snacks due to “feel peckish”. However, people with diabetes need to pay attention to the amount and timing of fruit intake, please consult your doctor and dietitian for advice.