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dear joan,
I've heard that fruit is high in sugar and can make you fat. Is this true? And how does watermelon rank on the calorie front when compared to different types of fruit?

-- tooty fruity


dear tooty fruity,

If watching your weight is the name of the game, then fruit should be a daily player. Granted, fruit is chock full of natural sugars, but unlike sugar-rich jelly beans, it offers more for your money. Fruits can be good sources of vitamin A (mango, cantaloupe), vitamin C (grapefruit, oranges, strawberries), folate (oranges), potassium (banana, honeydew melon), and dietary fiber (pears, unpeeled apples, strawberries). Jelly beans and other candies are chockfull of, well, just calories.

Any excess calories that you eat beyond what your body needs will be stored as fat, whether it's from an orange or candy. BUT, there is a volume factor here. You would have to eat two medium oranges (124 calories) to accumulate the same number of calories in 12 measly jelly beans (124 calories). I don't know about you, but I could easily eat 12 jelly beans while rummaging through the bag to find my favorite flavor. On the flipside, eating two oranges in one sitting would have me stuffed before I got to the last orange section.

The current recommendation for most healthy Americans is to consume at least three to five servings of fruit daily. A serving, including watermelon, is on the average, around 60 calories, not exactly a high-ticket calorie item.

Take a sweet peek at the calories:

apple, 1 medium: 81 calories, .5 grams fat
banana, 1 medium: 109 calories, .6 grams fat
blueberries, 1 cup, raw: 81 calories, .6 grams fat
cantaloupe, 1 cup pieces: 62 calories, .5 grams fat
cherries, 1/2 cup: 42 calories, .7 grams fat
grapefruit, half: 39 calories, .1 grams fat
grapes, 1 cup: 62 calories, .3 grams fat
honeydew melon: 1 cup, 62 calories, .2 grams fat
kiwifruit, 1 medium: 46 calories, .3 grams fat
mango, 1 medium: 135 calories, .6 grams fat
orange, 1 medium: 62 calories, .2 grams fat
papaya, 1 medium: 119 calories, .4 grams fat
peach, 1 medium: 42 calories, .1 grams fat
pear, 1 medium: 98 calories, .7 grams fat
pineapple, fresh, 1 cup: 76 calories, .7 grams fat
strawberries, 1 cup: 4 calories, .5 grams fat
watermelon, 1 cup: 49 calories, .7 grams fat

Enjoy!

Joan

Last updated: May, 2005