Myth: Juicing helps you lose weight
Fact: Although fruits and vegetables are relatively low in calories and have plenty of vitamins and antioxidants, too much of anything can pack on the pounds. Each ½ cup of fruit has about 60 calories. Juicing 4 to 5 cups of fruit comes out to 480 to 600 calories in one serving. If you’re trying to lose weight while juicing, portions still matter. Furthermore, diets that advocate juicing alone aren’t balanced (where’s the protein?) and are often dangerously low in calories overall.
Myth: Juicing is a way to cleanse your body
Fact: Your liver and kidneys were created to detoxify and naturally cleanse your body. Juicing or taking special concoctions won’t do a better job and there is no scientific evidence proving otherwise.
The serving size for any food isn’t “one size fits all.” It depends on numerous factors like the food group, shape and nutrients provided. I’ll layout your standard fruit serving sizes and delve into the nitty-gritty details of some not-so-traditional foods (like those squeezable fruit pouches) so you’ll know what one serving of fruit actually is.
According to the USDA’s MyPlate, any fruit or 100% fruit juice can make up a serving of fruit. Fresh, canned, frozen, freeze-dried, dried, whole, cut up and pureed fruit all count. How much fruit you need each day varies by gender, age, and level of physical activity. Here are the guidelines for men and women ages 19 and older:
- 19 to 30 years: 2 cups
- 31 years and older: 1 ½ cups
- 19 years and older: 2 cups
The NPD Group, an Illinois-based market research firm, recently released a study showing that fresh fruit is America’s top choice for snacking – more so than any other sweet or savory option. According to the report, fresh fruit is eaten 55 times per capita each year as a snack, with chocolate following in second place at 45 times, and potato chips in third place at 30 times. Nuts and cookies are eaten, respectively, 27 and 22 times per year by the average US consumer, while crackers, yogurt, ice cream, and others tie at 17 times.
The report found that individuals with healthier overall diets snack between meals, and that their snack choices tend to be healthier ones. The study also showed that snacking now makes up 20% of all eating occasions in this country, with mid-morning snacking showing the most explosive growth.
Apples, oranges, and bananas by themselves are great snacks and very portable; they can also easily be made more substantial with the addition of a few heart-healthy nuts or a spoonful of peanut or almond butter. Try choosing a piece of fruit next time you’re craving a sweet treat between meals in order to increase your fruit intake and improve your health.
TELL US: How often do you choose fruit as a snack?
Fruit Flies 101
Adult fruit flies (Drosiphila melanogaster) range in size from 1 to 2 millimeters, have red eyes and tan or brownish body. They like to lay their eggs on fruit that’s getting ready to be harvested; that’s how they make it into your home, though they can come in through open doors and windows. Once in your home, these small flies will hang out near rotting fruit, especially old bananas hanging out on your counter. These flies reproduce quickly—they can lay up to 500 eggs over the course of their 1-week lifespan.
Other common breeding grounds for these bugs include decaying meat, large spills of sugary soda or alcohol, sink drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash receptacles, wet mops and dirty rags.
You know you should be eating your fruits and veggies. But it’s just as important to your health to make sure your produce is clean and free of harmful pathogens. Luckily, there are simple tips you can follow to keep you and your loved ones safe.
The culprits include raw fruits and veggies and fresh juices made from them. Choosing organic or sticking to the clean 15 can help decrease the amount of pesticides in your produce but it won’t change the possibility that harmful microorganisms may be present.
At the Store
Whether you’re buying from your local supermarket, farmers’ market or belong to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) keep these tips in mind:
- Purchase in-season fruits and veggies, especially in the summer when so much is available.
- If you’re heading to your local farmers’ market, go early! You don’t want to buy fruits and veggies that have been sitting out in the heat for many hours or that have been touched by lots of people.
- Buy only what you need for the week. You’re better off making several quick trips to the market rather than stocking up and risking having the excess go bad.
- Choose produce carefully. Look for signs on spoilage such as mold, bruises, mushiness or cuts.
- Instead of buying pre-packaged produce, choose loose produce. It gives you a better opportunity to check for signs of spoilage.
- When buying fresh juice, be sure it’s pasteurized (treated with heat to kill harmful germs). If you’re not sure, ask or don’t buy it. Remember, young kids, pregnant and lactating women, older adults and those with a compromised immune system should lay off unpasteurized juices.
- If you’re bagging your produce in reusable bags, be sure to wash the bags regularly.
We’ve all been there. After slaving away over a sticky cutting board, cutting pear after strawberry after apple, the fruit salad of our dreams is left with the dregs of cantaloupe and honeydew stranded in the bowl, never to grace a plate. Each fruit was squeezed and sized up in the grocery store, sure, but the typical fruit salad is rather uniform and expected. We know what it’s going to taste like before we even load up our plates.
At the same time, the proverbial fruit salad is a mainstay at summer barbecues. In between bites of burger, chips and potato salad, guests are yearning for something more refreshing, something that will lift them up after such a heavy meal.
We’re hosting a Healthy Every Week Challenge for the month of May; a month-long initiative to develop healthy eating habits. The plan is to develop a manageable healthy habit each week that will carry through the new year. Join us here and share what you’re eating on Facebook and Twitter .
The May Healthy Challenge is almost over, and I have to say that I’ve had a wonderful time participating with all of you. The challenge has enabled me to save money, eat healthier, and stay on track with portion control. What about you? Perhaps you’ve been inspired to make healthy choices, or simply think about ways to make small changes, such as eating breakfast in the morning or getting more whole grains in your diet.
Summer is prime time for produce. While you may know how to cook and eat these seasonal goodies, are you storing them correctly? Here are 8 farmers’ markets finds that should stay out of the fridge.
The chill of the icebox makes tomatoes dull and mealy. Store on the counter (under-ripe ones can go on the windowsill). If they begin to get too ripe, it’s time to make tomato jam or roasted tomato sauce.
Keep whole melons like watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew on the counter for best flavor. USDA research found that storage at room temp may even help keep the antioxidants better intact. Once cut, store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Change up your afternoon snack routine with freeze-dried fruit in 100 and 40-calorie serving packs. These packs of freeze-dried fruit aren’t your typical astronaut food, however. Kiwis, bananas, apples, Asian pears and more from FruitziO! take the guesswork out of snacking.
Each pack is made with only the fruit on the label. That’s right—no added preservatives, added sugars, fat or cholesterol—just crisp, ready-to-eat fruit that satisfies sweet cravings without the guilt.
You can buy your own FruitziO! snacks or enter in the comments for a chance to win a prize pack containing four flavors. Just let us know, in the comments, what fruit you can’t live without and why. The contest starts at 10:00 a.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, April 13 at 5 p.m. EST.
We’re giving away one 6-pack of each Crispy Fruit flavor and two bags of each FruitziO flavor to two lucky, randomly selected commenters. You must include your email address in the “Email” field when submitting your comment so we can communicate with you if you’re a winner.
You may only comment once to be considered and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 to win. For the first day of the giveaway, all entries (answers) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. EST on April 11 and 5 p.m. EST on April 13, 2012. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of each prize: $82.84 each. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.
So tell us, what fruit can you not live without?