The Fruit 411

Fruit juice, fruit snacks, dried fruit, organic fruit and frozen fruit—you can get your vitamins from fruit in so many different ways. Get the fruit 411 to find out which form of fruit is better for you and start living better.

Some of the basics:


Eat your fruits... don't drink them
Look for added fiber and fewer calories with whole fruits.

Is organic fruit really a better choice?
The price of organic fruit is a big deterrent for many, so know that the nutrient content between organic and nonorganic is pretty similar. If you're worried about pesticides, a good rule of thumb is to buy organic for fruits with thin skins—particularly if you consume them regularly. For many people, that's apples and grapes. The reason being that thin skin is more prone to absorb pesticide residues than thick-skinned fruits, like bananas and oranges.

Look for 100-percent fruit snacks
Fruit on the package doesn't mean it's in the product. While some packaged roll-ups, strings and snacks can claim to be all fruit, many have juice and extra sugars, which are a waste of calories. That's the tip off: If it's 80 to 100 calories per serving (instead of the recommended 40 to 60), it's got some unneeded extras compared to the 100-percent fruit snacks.

Dried fruit is so "fattening.” Are there other choices?
Fresh fruits are a calorie bargain, since all the water fills you up. Dried fruits take out some of the water, but are still "squishy," so it's easy to eat four or five fruits very quickly. While nutrient-packed, they're also calorie-packed. A great choice are the new freeze-dried fruits. All the water is removed, and they are so dry that you have to rehydrate them in your mouth. These intensely sweet treats—let's call them nature's candy—take a long time to eat and are a calorie bargain. Also, they are quite portable and available in many fruit varieties in most supermarkets.

How do frozen fruits stack up to fresh?
Frozen fruits, without added sugar, are a great substitute when you're looking for out-of-season choices. Frozen berries are great, and while squishier than fresh, can be added to cereals and fruit salads and eaten right out of the bag, frozen. They're economical and great tasting.

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