All Fruit Is Not Created Equal

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By now, it's common knowledge that consuming five a day - vegetables and fruit, that is - can have some major bennies on your overall health and wellness. Fresh produce is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fiber that prevents deadly conditions such as heart disease, stroke and cancer. Stocking your diet full of fruits and vegetables instead of other high-calorie foods can also help you shed those extra pounds. Keep your fridge full by perusing the produce aisle or paying a visit to the local farmer's market. Of course, for every fruit and vegetable there is a season... and this might not be it. When fresh fruit isn't available, you can always help yourself to canned or frozen fruit. However, make your choice carefully. Take peaches for example. They're available in juice, water or syrup. Fruit in syrup contains more sugar and calories. One four-ounce cup of diced peaches in light syrup will set you back 70 calories and 18 grams of sugar. Canned pineapple chunks in heavy syrup are even worse. Just 1/2 cup has 90 calories and 22 grams of sugar. Meanwhile, 2/3 cup of canned peaches in water has just 40 calories and 8 grams of sugar, a much healthier alternative. One option is to drain the syrup before you eat the fruit or you can opt for the fruit in water or in its own juice. Regardless of which canned fruit you purchase, rinse it off before you eat it. Obviously, you want to go for the fruit where you get the most nutritional bang for your buck. But most importantly you want to make sure you meet your five-a-day requirements.