All fruits offer valuable vitamins, but some provide less sugar and more fiber. Choose these 5 picks for fewer calories.
If you're watching your calorie intake, some fruit choices may be better than others. "Some fruits are similar to breads, pastas, and other high-carbohydrate foods, so you want to be smart about choosing fruits that are lower in sugar," says Iva Young, author of Healthy Mom (Yorkshire, 2010). Here are Young's top five low-sugar fruit picks.
Raspberries are an excellent source of fiber, offering 30 percent of the recommended daily value in a single serving, says Young. They also provide a rich dose of vitamin C (50 percent DV), and rank near the top of all fruits for antioxidant content. Try our seasonal Raspberry, Apple, and Frisee Salad, pictured above.
Blackberries also contain terrific amounts of vitamin C and other antioxidants, as well as abundant fiber, vitamin K, folic acid, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, says Young. A unique way to get blackberries (other than straight out of the carton): Pan-Seared Tilapia with Blackberry Sauce.
Kiwi, along with fiber, contains lots of vitamin C and vitamin K, plus -- surprise -- just slightly less potassium than a banana. "Potassium is one of those nutrients that’s absolutely essential for heart health, yet many people don’t get nearly enough," says Young. One healthy and delicious combo: Kiwi and Carambola Tart (if you can't find carambola, aka star fruit, use pineapple).
Strawberries are a dieter's best friend: low in calories, high in fiber. (Seeing a berry theme here? That's right: All berries are loaded with fiber and nutrients, making them one of the best possible fruit picks. Just be sure to choose organic strawberries; berries appear prominently on the "Dirty Dozen" list of highest pesticide residues.) "Strawberries are also an excellent source of vitamin C and flavonoids, promoting lots of antioxidant activity in the body," says Young. Here's a seasonal favorite for adults and kids alike: Easy Strawberry Tart with Oat-Cinnamon Crust.
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin A and the highest amount of vitamin C for any citrus; they also provide powerful antioxidants and, of course, fiber (when you eat the pulp), says Young. Interestingly, "the white pith of the orange also contains flavonoids, and some doctors are even using extracts from the pith to help fight certain types of cancer," says Young. One of our favorite ways to include pith in cooking: this sophisticated but easy recipe for Olive Oil Cake with Citrus Compote.