Fruit of the month

Published: January, 2021

Editor's note: This year, we're highlighting fruits on this page. Starting in February, we'll showcase a different type of fruit or group of related fruits, such as citrus fruits or melons. We'll include ideas about the best ways to add more of these heart-healthy foods into your diet.

If you eat berries with breakfast, snack on a banana, and toss some cubed apple or pear in your dinner salad, you can easily meet the recommended amount of fruit for adults, which is 1.5 to 2 cups per day. But such habits are unusual: Fewer than one in 10 Americans consumes even the minimum recommended amount of fruit, according to a national federal survey.

The latest data from the CDC show that about 35% of adults typically have less than one serving of fruit per day — and that figure includes 100% fruit juice, which isn't nearly as healthy as eating whole fruit. Fruit juice contains very little fiber, a nutrient known to help lower cardiovascular risk. What's more, a serving of fruit juice is much higher in sugar and calories than whole fruit. For example, a cup of orange juice has 21 grams of sugar and 113 calories, whereas a medium orange has just 12 grams of sugar and 65 calories.

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