Fresh fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy diet and are typically low in calories and fat grams. When combined with lean proteins and whole grains, fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals and may reduce certain forms of cancer and heart disease, according to the National Health Service. The high water content of many fruits and vegetables helps you to feel full and ready to take on the day.
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Fruit portions and calorie values
While fresh fruits have many health benefits, portion control is still important due to the high calorie content of some types of fruit. 50-calorie portions of fruits include one-fifth of a medium avocado, one-fourth of a medium cantaloupe melon, one-tenth of a honeydew melon, two slices of pineapple, one medium tangerine and eight medium strawberries. Fruits with approximate 100-calorie values include 21 sweet cherries, one medium pear and two medium kiwi fruit. A medium banana has approximately 110 calories.
Vegetable portions and calorie values
Raw vegetables tend to have lower calorie values than fruits, which means that larger portions can be consumed without sacrificing weight control. Vegetables ranging from 10 to 20 calories include five asparagus spears, two medium stalks of celery, one-third of a medium cucumber, and seven radishes. Adding dips or sauces or cooking vegetables in oil will increase calorie values dramatically. Other vegetable calorie values include 25 for a medium bell pepper, 30 for a medium carrot or five medium mushrooms, 110 for a medium potato, and 100 for a medium sweet potato.
Fruits and fat grams
Most fruits are naturally fat-free, so counting fat grams is not necessary. Fruits with zero fat grams or calories from fat include apples, bananas, cantaloupe melon, grapefruit, grapes, honeydew melon, lemons, limes, oranges, pears, pineapples, plums, strawberries, sweet cherries, tangerines and watermelon. Avocados have the highest fat content -- although relatively minimal when compared with processed foods -- at 4.5 g of fat and 35 calories from fat for one-fifth of a medium avocado. Peaches and nectarines have negligible fat values of 0.5 g for a medium-sized sample of each. Kiwi fruit have 1 g of fat and 10 calories from fat for a portion of two medium kiwis.
Vegetables and fat grams
Virtually all vegetables are also fat-free when consumed raw and not cooked with additional oils or butter. Vegetables without fat grams or calories from fat include asparagus, bell pepper, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, green beans, lettuce, potatoes, squash, radishes and tomatoes. Sweet corn has 2.5 g of fat and 20 calories from fat for one medium ear. Broccoli has a negligible 0.5 g of fat for a medium stalk and zero calories from fat.
Weight management with fruits and vegetables
Because most fruits and vegetables are low-calorie and fat-free, the NHS advises including more of them in a daily meal plan to keep a healthy weight and maintain healthy eating habits. For breakfast, add cut-up fruit to your cereal bowl and decrease the amount of cereal itself. Lunch options may include wraps made with more vegetables than meat or soups made with chopped vegetables. For dinner, vegetables and fruits should comprise the largest portion of your plate.
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