Fruit glorious fruit

In a recent survey by the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, it was shown that only 23 percent of Americans were interested in improving their diet, compared to 37 percent who were not interested.

Would you be interested in improving your dietary habits? Do you want to be a smart eater? If so, let’s have a brief discussion about fruits.

Fruits are very nutritious. They are an excellent source of minerals, vitamins and fiber. Fruits also may protect against cancer. According Harvard Women’s Watch, people who eat small amounts of produce have a cancer rate twice the amount of people who eat the most fruits and vegetables.

Most fruits provide negligible amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol; avocadoes provide 1gram of saturated fat per ounce.

Katherine Tallmadge,registered dietitian and author of “Diet Simple?” and Sodexho chief executive, Matt Mantini, stressed that fresh fruit is a delicious, low-calorie snack that students can eat between meals. Replacing a candy bar (250 calories) or an ounce of chips (150 calories) with a piece of fruit (60-100 calories) could save 50 to 150 calories per snack. Choosing fruit instead of junk food three times a day can save 150 to 450 calories per day and 15 to 45 pounds per year.

Many students say they don’t eat a lot of fruit because of the prices. To avoid high price tags, buy fruits that are in season whenever possible for their low cost, higher nutrient quality and greater variety.

In other words, fruits are a healthy choice. Starting today, eat a variety of fruits in an effort to make better choices that are guaranteed to benefit your health now and in the future.

Abigail Mobley is an assistant professor in the division of health, physical education and recreation. She can be reached at