The Calorie Wallet: Fruit
Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD
Let’s say it is snack time, and you’ve got 100 calories in your wallet to spend on fruit. What will you buy? All fresh fruits are a good bargain, offering vitamins, minerals, fiber and healthy antioxidants. But the amount
of fruit you’ll get for your 100 calories depends a lot on how much water is in the fruit: the more water, the larger the portion. But mix it up – variety is important since fruits differ in what they offer nutritionally. Let’s look at some typical fruits, and how much you can eat for the 100 calories in your wallet:
- Melons contain the most water of all fruits, which is why you get a whopping 2 cups of diced melon for your 100 calories.
- Berries contain a lot of water and fiber, so they’re a real calorie bargain. For only 100 calories you can eat 25 medium strawberries, or about 1 1/2 cups of blackberries or raspberries.
- Citrus fruits contain a lot of water – that’s one reason we so often turn to them for juice. But juices lack fiber, so you’ll get more filled up if you eat the whole fruit instead. For only 100 calories you can have 2 medium tangerines or more than an entire grapefruit.
- A medium apple that’s about 3 inches across has only 100 calories, and its 5 grams of fiber will help to fill you up, too.
- Pineapple is a bit sweeter and denser than melon, which is why you get a bit less for your 100 calories – about 1 1/4 cups of chunks. But you’ll also get a full day’s worth of vitamin C.
- Mangos and bananas are denser fruits, so your 100-calorie portions are going to look a bit smaller. But mangos are a rich source of vitamin A, and bananas are one of the best places to find potassium.
- Dried fruits are convenient, but since much of the water has been removed, your 100 calories only gets you about a handful of raisins, six dried apple rings or 1 and 1/2 dates.