Is fresh always best?
Jan 13, 2021
Put simply, fresh is best. But there’s still confusion regarding the other forms of fruit and what we need to be mindful of.
We’ve got fresh, frozen, dried and juiced, all with varying nutritional qualities and flavours. Today, we’ll talk about the pros and cons (if any) of each form, as well as mindful strategies.
Fresh fruit is the standout performer. There are only pros to eating fresh fruit, with the major ones being:
- It adds weight to your stomach, due to the fruit being in its ‘whole’ form. This keeps you fuller for longer and reduces your risk of snacking on energy-dense foods.
- It’s relatively low in energy. A standard apple sits at about 350-400kJ.
- It contains fibre, which slows down the digestion process and regulates blood sugar levels. Essentially, fresh fruit steadily releases energy into your body.
There’s very little difference between fresh and frozen fruit, making it the second-best option.
- Frozen fruit lasts significantly longer than fresh fruit.
- It’s generally cheaper than fresh, dried and juiced fruit alternatives.
- Frozen fruit is generally heated before it is frozen, which can cause slight degradation of critical nutrients (but nothing too significant).
- When frozen fruit is thawing, it can lose some nutrients, e.g. vitamin C. Vitamin C is particularly volatile, as it breaks down with oxygen.
Dried fruit is a moderate performer when it comes to optimising nutrition.
- Dried fruit is still nutrient-dense and contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. However, it’s always important to be mindful about Vitamin C, as it continuously degrades once exposed to oxygen.
- Can be used as an excellent addition to a curry or a salad, as it can satisfy your need for a sweet hit, whilst also filling you up.
- Great option if you’re needing a healthy burst of energy! For instance, a trail mix can be an excellent snack to bring on a hike.
- Per 100g, dried fruit has a well over 1000kJ, making it very energy-dense. All of the moisture has been sucked out, so we’re left with a high sugar content in a small volume of food.
- Dried fruit is rather moreish, so it can be easy to eat a significant amount of it and exceed our energy requirement for the day.
Juice would be the least favourable option when it comes to consuming fruit.
- It’s a better option than sports drinks, as it contains more vitamins and minerals.
- Pulp-free juice means the fibre has been removed. Therefore, the speed at which the sugar hits the bloodstream is a lot quicker. Even with the pulp, juice can significantly increase the sugar in the blood. This can be a problem for those with diabetes.
- It has a similar nutrient profile to fresh fruit (that being approx. 250kJ per 100ml). The problem is, we generally don’t stop drinking at 100ml. It’s closer to 200-300ml...
When it comes to fruit, we want to aim for 2 serves per day. Preferably, this is to come from fresh or frozen fruit. If you have further questions regarding the health benefits of fruit or strategies to increase your intake, book a CQ Nutrition consult. The lovely dietitians will be able to answer your enquiries and come up with a ‘fruit fix’ that works for you.
Here is a link to book in with one of our expert dietitians at any of our locations https://www.cqnutrition.com.au/booking/
Want an online consultation? Book in on my calendar and in comments write online: https://bit.ly/AnnieROK
Written by Annabel Johnston, BAppSc&MDietPrac & GCertDiabSt