Date
20 July 2018
Excessive consumption of fruits that are particularly high in sugar and fat content could actually lead to weight gain, according to an expert. Photo: Reuters
Excessive consumption of fruits that are particularly high in sugar and fat content could actually lead to weight gain, according to an expert. Photo: Reuters

Enjoy fruit in moderation

Summertime is here and people are trying different ways to cope with the high temperatures.

Other than staying in an air-conditioned area, having a bowl of frozen fruit would also help.

Fruits are nutritious but they should not be gulped down mindlessly. Excessive consumption of fruits that are particularly high in sugar and fat content could actually lead to weight gain.

Durian is one of the most popular summer fruits, but it is also one of the leading fruits in terms of fat content.

A cup (243g) of durian contains about 13g of fat and has 357kcal, which is equivalent to one and a half bowls of milled rice.

That’s a lot of calories compared with a cup of apple, which only has 53kcal and 0.14g of fat. Even banana, often considered a fattening kind of fruit, contains only 0.24g of fat per cup.

On top of fat content, sucrose content also determines the calories of fruits. The sweeter the fruit, the higher the sucrose level.

According to guidelines given by the World Health Organization, an adult should consume no less than 400g of fruit and vegetables per day, which is in accord with the amount suggested by the Department of Health.

Having three portions of vegetables and two portions of fruit can prevent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and obesity-related health issues.

You can always use a cupped hand to measure the portion of food. A Ghana apple that fits your cupped hand properly equals one portion. A Fuji apple that is too big for it equals two portions. A banana likewise equals two portions.

Whether it is better to have fruit before or after meals is a controversial topic. For weight watchers, having fruit beforehand can make them feel fuller, hence reducing their urge to overeat during a proper meal.

On the other hand, diabetes patients are advised to have fruit afterward as their blood sugar level is likely to spike when they consume high glycemic fruit.

Here is a list of fruit and their calories per cup from USDA Nutrient Data: lychee (190g) = 125kcal; kiwi (180g) = 110kcal; grapes (151g) = 104kcal; mango (165g) = 99kcal; peach (161g) = 92 kcal; banana (244g) = 88kcal; orange (185g) = 85kcal; apple (110g) = 53 kcal; watermelon (152g) = 46kcal.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on June 14

Translation by John Chui

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

JC/BN/CG

registered dietitian

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