5 Healthy Fruits to Eat in Moderation

Apple Fruit

Fruits are hardly nutrition villains.

They are in fact uber healthy, naturally sweet, and rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants.

Fruits are frequently recommended by almost all health professionals including nutritionists and dietitians and make a daily appearance in nearly all types of diets including wildly popular military diet.

However, just because fruits are healthy in nature doesn’t mean they should all be treated equally.

Some nutritious fruits come at the cost of high calories while others contain barely any calories. If you are on a healthy weight loss diet with a calorie restriction, be sure to check out this list of 5 calorie dense fruits you should eat in moderation.

Let’s get to it.

1. Apple

Apples are no doubt a nutritious fruit.

In fact, one study discovered that women who eat at least one apple a day are 28% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t (1).

It’s a fruit known for its effectiveness in controlling your blood sugar and richness in antioxidants called flavonoids, which are believed to lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.

While the size of your apple matters when pinpointing the correct calorie count, FDA shows one large apple can contain as many as 130 calories. For a small apple, it may be anywhere from 80 to 100 calories per fruit.

While these numbers may not sound overly high, comparing to other fruits like cantaloupe (50 cals / ¼ medium) and strawberries (50 cals / 8 medium), you can end up packing in more than double the calories by having a whole apple for a snack.

It’s one fruit you may want to keep in mind that their calories are not as low as you think. Especially if you like a tablespoon or two of peanut butter to go with your apple, making half an apple as one serving size may help manage your calorie intake from otherwise a healthy, nutritious snack.

2. Bananas

It’s not a secret that bananas are calorie dense. It’s also one of the few fruits with a medium glycemic index.

Calories in a banana do vary size to size, but a typical medium banana contains 105 calories. A larger one can contain slightly more - 120 calories.

Though they are higher in calories, many health experts vouch every one of the calories in a banana is worth it.

That’s because bananas are a rich source of potassium offering 422 mg or over 20% of your daily recommended intake in one fruit. It’s also a decent source of numerous vitamins and minerals including dietary fiber and vitamin B6 and C.

If you are trying to manage your daily calorie count, serve yourself a half banana at a time.

3. Avocados

Unlike almost all other fruits, avocados are loaded with a whopping 25 to 30 grams of fat each.

Despite that fat being a healthy monounsaturated fat, it naturally brings up the calorie count of this rich and creamy fruit.

In one whole fruit, avocados provide about 275 calories. For a serving size of ⅕ medium, it’s about 55 calories.

In the fruit group, avocados are at the highest on its calorie chart.

This is not to say it’s by any means necessary to ban avocados from your diet. In fact, they should be part of your diet.

Though it’s undeniable that avocados are one fruit you should probably eat in moderation.

To get the most of avocado’s nutritional power, add some chunks to your salad as they lower the glycemic index of your overall meal and up your body’s ability to absorb some of the essential nutrients like carotenoids.

4. Mangos

In the U.S., bananas may be the most consumed fruit, but around the world, it’s the mangos that are quite popular and widely consumed. With its tropical taste that goes with anything from salsas to morning smoothies, it’s not hard to understand why.

USDA reports, this golden-yellow tropical fruit, mango contains 201 calories. Though a serving size is usually one cup, which provides about 99 calories.

Despite mangoes also known for their high sugar content, containing 46 grams of sugar per fruit, they offer over 20 nutrients that make them a healthy choice.

According to Megan Ware RDN, LC, mangos are linked to reduced risk of colon cancer, better digestion, and improved bone, skin, and nail health.

Despite its high health quality, mangos do contain more calories than others. Be sure to keep the count in mind and eat this fruit in moderation and with mindfulness.

5. Raisins

Raisins are every kid’s favorite snack choice.

I’m certain most of us grew up carrying around a couple of little raisin boxes in our pockets as we headed off to school and to the nearby park.

There is something about nibbling through the red box of raisins that brings everyone a smile and good old childhood memories.

Even though raisins still are a healthy snack we can all enjoy, it’s good to know that each of the little 1.5 oz boxes of raisins comes with 130 calories.

If you are used to going through a few boxes at a time like me, you may want to reconsider pacing yourself. With just 3 boxes, you can easily pack in as many as 390 calories, which is surprisingly equivalent to 6’ Subway Sandwich.

Instead, the same fruit but the fresh version, grapes offer far fewer calories with added benefits of vitamin C, which gets destroyed by the heat in the drying process.

If you are still in favor of raisins, be sure to pick a unsweetened variety with no artificial flavors.

Final Thoughts

There, your list of five fruits to eat in moderation!

These fruits are undoubtedly healthy and nutritious. They often bring far more benefits to your health than the bad. However, as a food source, they do contain calories, and since they are sizable, it’s good to know their numbers and know what would be an appropriate portion for you.

Despite most fruits containing minimum calories, not all are qualified to be called “almost calorie free”.

Before you make your meal plan for the week, be sure to check out some of your favorite fruits’ nutrition profile to stay within your calorie budget, especially if you are trying to lose weight and improve your overall health.

References:

  • Magic foods for better blood sugar: live longer, supercharge your energy, lose weight, and stop cravings. Readers Digest, 2007.
  • Food Composition Databases Show Foods List 09040, ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list?qlookup=09040.
  • Food Composition Databases Show Foods List 09176, ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list?qlookup=09176.
  • LD, Megan Ware RDN. “Mangoes: Health benefits, nutrition, recipes.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 22 Aug. 2017, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275921.php.

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