Nutrition and MyPlate: Fruit

Watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, oranges, blueberries, grapes, bananas, strawberries, peaches, pineapple.

Like vegetables, fruit contains fiber and plenty of vitamins. But the great thing about fruit is its flavor. If you have a sweet tooth or just want a little treat, fruit is the healthiest way to indulge. And you're probably not eating as much of it as you should. An apple a day doesn't cut it anymore. At mealtimes, make half your plate fruits and vegetables.  

Nutrient-rich choices

Most fruit is seasonal. So, your options change with the time of year. Take advantage of the seasons to keep healthy eating fresh. Most of your fruit should come from whole fruit. Nutrient-rich choices include:

  • Any fruit that's fresh, frozen, or canned in its own juice (no added sugar).

  • 100% fruit juice, such as orange juice. (Be aware that even 100% juice is high in calories, and juice has less fiber than whole fruit. One small glass a day is enough.)

What makes fruit less healthy?

  • Added fat, sugar, or processed flour makes fruit less healthy. This means desserts like pastries, pies, and sorbet. Try a fruit salad or a smoothie instead.

  • Fruit canned in heavy syrup contains added sugar. Check the label to find out if the fruit is canned in syrup. If it is, rinse the fruit before eating it, and don't drink the syrup.

  • Juice with sugar added (not 100% fruit juice) contains a lot of calories and very little nutrition. You may already know that soda has a ton of sugar in it, but believe it or not, so do most juice drinks! Instead, try sparkling water with a dash of juice.

  • Dried fruit has less vitamin C and more calories than fresh fruit. It's okay from time to time. Just remember, it’s not as good for you as fresh fruit.

One small change

Next time you're at the grocery store, pick out 2 fruits you've never tried. Have a better idea? Write it here: