Fruit Salad – Yummy, Yummy

For those of you with young children, the title of this blog may sound familiar.  The children’s singing group/television stars, “The Wiggles,” have a song with this title.  It’s a cute, fun way to get children to eat fruit.  Most children like at least some fruit due to its natural sweetness and even adults with the worst eating habits can probably name a couple fruits that they enjoy.

Summertime is the prime time to enjoy a delicious fruit salad or individual fruits.  Many fruits that are not in season during other times of the year can currently be found at your local grocery or produce store.  For example, watermelon and cherries are there now – yum!

Many people get confused about fruit when they are trying to watch what they eat because it does contain a lot of natural sugars.  But, fruit IS a part of a well-balanced diet as it provides multiple benefits.  Fruits and vegetables should make up about half your plate for a healthy, well-balanced diet.  That means a healthy combination, not always one or the other.

Fruit provides potassium, Vitamin C, fiber, and folic acid.  If your potassium level is too low you may feel faint!  The proper amount of potassium can help reduce your risk of stroke or heart disease.  That’s an immeasurable benefit.  Vitamin C is an excellent source of aiding your immune system to fight off seasonal colds.  Fiber helps to keep you “regulated,” so that you don’t experience constipation which can be painful and chronic without the proper diet. Fiber also can help reduce your cholesterol.  Folic acid isn’t just for pregnant women.  It gives you healthy hair and nails!

So, what about the natural sugar in fruit?  Isn’t sugar bad for our health? While eating ONLY fruit wouldn’t be good for you, eating only one type of any food isn’t good for you.  The sugar in fruit is processed very similarly to that in other foods.  However, the fiber in the fruit helps your body process it slower which really helps you to avoid those “sugar crashes” you get from other foods containing sugar.  Your blood sugar level isn’t spiking and plummeting which is why even diabetics can eat a reasonable amount of fruit.

It is important to eat fruit whole, not in juice form.  Frozen or canned fruit is about as nutritious as fresh fruit IF it is not packaged in a sugary syrup.  If it is packaged in its own natural juice, then it is fine.  So, it’s okay to grab those little “to go” containers of fruit for you or the kids if they are in their own juice.  It will tell you on the label.

Fruit is a healthy, filling snack.  It doesn’t provide empty calories like a pre-packaged, sugary treat.  It will help you feel full while giving you a sweet treat.  The best part is that it is actually good for you!  So, enjoy that juicy peach or bowl of blueberries!

Dr. Diego Velarde of Advanced Surgical and Weight Loss Institute has made health and weight loss his passion and his career.  If you live in the Melbourne or Merritt Island area and are looking for a weight loss program or are interested in weight loss surgery, such as the gastric balloon or lap band surgery, then please call Dr. Velarde today.  He looks at each case individually and will help you come up with the plan or surgery that is best for you and your specific health needs.