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.
Image: © Maxiphoto/Getty Images
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.