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Not Just Talkin' The Talk

The Ultimate Fruit Basket

By Linda Goldfarb
Certified Physical Fitness Specialist I love bananas. When I was a teenager, I painted my entire room yellow. Not just regular yellow, but a bright “Hey, turn out the lights!” yellow. And I didn’t just paint my walls; I painted the ceiling, louver closet, and door. I lived inside a banana and I loved it!

Today I’m not as radical in my painting, but I still love bananas. There is more to the banana than meets the eye. Did you know that the banana is recognized as a high source of potassium, yet most people don’t realize it also provides us with a great source of complex carbohydrates? If you’re like me, you could eat bananas with everything, but beware, they have a high calorie count. And if you are already maxed out in your carbohydrate storage, at the cellular level these calories can be stored as fat – so moderation prevails again. Who would have guessed?

Periodically, I will be writing on the different food groups and what each brings to the table. This month, the freshness of spring has sparked my hankering for fruit, so let’s fill up the basket and see what we’ve got. Side Note: Always wash your fruit before eating it even if it has a peeling, chemicals used in processing can penetrate the outer layers.

According to the new My Pyramid Food Guide, we should consume 2-4 servings of fruit per day. Let’s break this down into more bite-size pieces. A great way to determine what a serving of fruit is would be to look at your hand and make a fist. There you go. Your fist is your serving size, simple and easily accessible.

We have to really be careful in respect to serving size, especially with the apple choices today; there can be some whoppers out there. If you have an apple and it is larger than your fist, consider using those fancy cutting devices to slice the apple into equal parts – then share with a friend or family member. (Strangers might feel a bit awkward being offered a pre-cut apple!)

You might think fruit is fruit no matter what consistency it is, but not so. When you are looking to limit calories or at least understand how many you are consuming, serving size is key. Processing alters a serving size, so consider the following: 1 medium piece of fruit; 1 cup whole berries; ¾ cup juice; ½ cup diced canned; or ¼ cup dried.

The following food grid provides nutritional information about fruit. Grams = gr. Milligrams = mg.

Fruits     gr. gr. gr. mg. mg. gr. gr.
  Serving Calories Protein Carbs Fiber Sodium Cholesterol Unsat. Fat Sat. Fat.
Peach 1 37 0.6 9.7 0.6 0 0 0.1 0.0
Strawberries 1 cup 45 0.9 10.4 0.8 2 0 0.4 0.0
Watermelon 1 cup 50 1.0 11.5 0.5 3 0 0.0 0.0
Raspberries 1 cup 61 1.1 14.2 3.7 0 0 0.5 0.0
Orange 1 62 1.2 15.4 0.6 0 0 0.1 0.0
Pineapple 1 cup 77 0.6 19.2 0.8 1 9 0.3 0.1
Apple 1 81 0.3 21.0 1.1 1 0 0.2 0.1
Blueberries 1 cup 82 1.0 20.5 1.9 9 0 0.0 0.0
Cantaloupe 1/2 94 2.3 22.3 1.0 23 0 0.0 0.0
Pear 1 98 0.7 25.0 2.3 1 0 0.3 0.0
Banana 1 105 1.2 26.7 0.6 1 0 0.1 0.2
Grapes 1 cup 114 1.1 28.4 0.7 3 0 0.3 0.3

I was amazed to find that some fruit contains fat (not high quantities, though) and most of it is unsaturated, which is on the healthier side. And it’s always good to know that fruit in its natural state may contain sodium. If you are on a sodium-restricted diet, you may want to steer clear of cantaloupes and blueberries.

It is surprising to some that fruit can have protein in it. Fruit provides us with a lot of carbohydrates, but as you can see, protein sticks its head in there every now and then.

If you are looking for natural sources of fiber in a user friendly form, not the stir in kind, fruit can be your friend. Your colon needs the soluble and insoluble fiber found in fruit to keep it working properly. The bloodstream benefits from the soluble fiber as it attaches to the fat and escorts it out the body.

The poor apple has been given a bad reputation as the fruit that tempted Eve, but remember, all things in the garden were made for the good of man. It was our selfish pride and arrogance that caused the fall, not the defenseless fruit. If we are to gain control over our bodies to be as healthy as possible, it would be wise to take a bite of that apple two or three times a day. Better yet, mix it up. Variety is the spice of life – or, in this case, the ultimate fruit basket.

Linda Goldfarb

Linda Goldfarb is a certified physical fitness specialist, speaker, and syndicated radio talk show host. You can download her weekly “Not Just Talkin’ the Talk” radio broadcasts, a one hour variety talk show based out of San Antonio, Texas, at Linda’s show encourages listeners to “walk the walk” spiritually, physically, and relationally each and every day. Contact Linda to speak at your next event: (Photo Copyright © Lisa Pittman Photography).   

Before beginning any new fitness program that requires a change in diet or exercise, it is recommended that you consult your physician for input. This informational series is not intended for medical or nutritional claims dependent on substantial clinical studies and FDA approval, and should not be construed as a claim for cure, treatment, or prevention of any disease.  It is intended solely for information and educational purposes. Linda is not a physician or expert in the medical field. She has been involved in the health and fitness industry as a personal trainer and fitness instructor for numerous years. The information given in these sessions have been derived from  books and materials brought together over the years from many sources, including her personal life experiences.


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