There's a lot of talk about cutting out fruit to lose weight, due to the amount of sugar it contains, but what a misery that would be since summer fruit is so delicious and we've waited all year for it to come around. And what nonsense too.
Each season has its challenge when it comes to weight loss but for my money summer is the easiest time of year to lose weight because of the summer fruit. And as for deliciousness, mangoes will always conquer cake, a good peach thrashes any biscuit I've ever eaten and cherries triumph over lollies. (The list could continue but I think you get my point!)
Summer is such a joyous season and summer fruits combined with sun, sand, water, holidays, Christmas, family, friends, picnics and barbeques make up the whole package, so why anyone would allow themselves to be talked into cutting out something that gives them such joy, I'll never know.
The natural sugar content in summer fruit is the reason why (some) health zealots suggest we should cut it out altogether, but summer fruits provide a lot more than sugar. Mangos for example are rich in vitamin C, B6 and fibre, not forgetting the powerful antioxidant beta-carotene, which converts in the body to make vitamin A. Peaches too, particularly the orange varieties, are a good source of carotenoids and they also provide fibre, vitamin C and potassium, while cherries are loaded in anthocyanins which play an important role to maintain healthy blood vessels and reduce inflammation. I could run down the list of the rest of the summer fruit benefits but I feel you'll get the point about this as well. There are many health reasons to enjoy summer fruit: The fruit is not the problem if you are gaining weight, the problem is you because you're eating too much of it!
Like everything else - except green vegetables - you can have too much of a good thing. Certainly when you look at the bellies of most greengrocers at the end of the summer fruit season most of them would agree: After 3 months tasting the fruit at the wholesale markets (it's not uncommon to test 4 peaches and ½ kg cherries before 7.00am) they are certainly ready to take a rest from the summer delights. They eat too much of it because it's their job, the rest of us, if we're guilty of eating too much, it's because it tastes so good.
So how much should we eat?
Those of you who are trying to lose weight should treat summer fruit as a snack or small meal and enjoy 2 serves a day. A peach or a handful of grapes for morning tea, a mango shared with a friend as a snack, a small cup of cherries while you make your way home from work all contributes to good nutrition and an enjoyable summer.
The following table lists the most popular summer fruits, recommended serve amount, weight, energy, carbohydrate and fibre amount.
The Food Coach says: Remember - it's all good for you, just don't eat too much.
|1 cup cubed||rockmelon||169||167||8||1.7|
|1 cup cubed||watermelon||160||163||8||1|
|1 cup cubed||papaya||140||226||14||2.5|
|1 cup cubed||papaw||150||208||10||3.4|
Happy summer snacking everyone