EtR PROGRAM UPDATES:
Welcome to Week 3 of the Eat the Rainbow Fruit and Veggie Challenge!
Today we are continuing the myth-busting portion of the Eat the Rainbow Challenge!
TRUE OR FALSE: FRUIT IS HIGH IN SUGAR.
This week we are going to debunk the common myth about sugar in fruit, and explain the difference between simple sugars and complex carbohydrates.
We’ll dive deeper into the larger topic of carbohydrates later in the series, but this week we are going to focus specifically on sugar.
All types of sugar are carbohydrates, but not all types of sugar are the same.
There are really two kinds of sugar when we’re thinking about our diets- added sugars and naturally occurring sugars. Added sugars are things like table sugar and high fructose corn syrup that are either added to foods at home (like your morning coffee) or during cooking and processing (like the corn syrup in sodas). Naturally occurring sugars are the sugars that are found in foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy.
Both types of sugars provide a quick burst of energy for our bodies and both types can raise blood sugar levels. The big advantage the naturally occurring sugars have over added sugars is that they come packaged with other nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
SO, IS FRUIT “HIGH” IN SUGAR? NO.
Yes, fruit contains fructose – sometimes referred to as “fruit sugar”, and the amount of fructose found in whole fruits is the right balance for your body and comes with lots of other beneficial nutrients.
So next time someone tells you not to eat fruit because “it is so high in sugar!” – don’t believe the hype. Grab that apple or banana and eat it knowing that you are doing something good for your body.
If you want to learn more about sugar and cancer, or carbohydrates in general, check out these Cancer Dietitian blog posts:
Eat an extra serving of fruit this week! Make a fruit smoothie using frozen berries, eat an orange as a snack, or load up a banana with some yummy peanut butter– the options are endless! Let us know how you enjoyed your extra fruit on our Facebook page.
PRODUCE HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: APPLES
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Most of us have probably heard that saying and while it may be a bit of an over-simplification, there definitely is some truth to the idea that eating apples can improve your health! Apples are included in the AICR’s list of foods that fight cancer. They have fiber and polyphenols that work together to support your gut. According to the AICR, there is also evidence linking apples to lower risks of certain types of breast cancer.
HOW TO USE
Apples are great raw or cooked. Slice them up raw and dip in peanut butter, caramel dip, or chocolate pudding with tofu. If you or anyone in your house has trouble with the texture of raw apples, grating them with a cheese grater is a fantastic way to get all of the nutritional benefits in an easier-to-eat form!
There are so many great ways to serve apples, I did an entire post about it. Check it out for even more ideas!
Baked apples are also one of my favorites! Apples and cinnamon are one of my favorite winter combinations- they just taste cozy somehow. Check out the Apple Crisp recipe below for a new way to back up some apples this winter!
This apple crisp makes a great dessert. I also like it paired with yogurt for breakfast.
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 40 min
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 4–6 servings 1x
- 3 apples, sliced into equal-sized pieces
- Juice of half of a lemon
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 Tbsp white sugar
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup whole oats
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- dash salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Combine all of the filling ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine
- Pour the apple mixture into an 8-inch baking dish
- Mix together the topping ingredients except for butter
- Cut in the butter until the topping comes together in a crumbly mixture
- Add the topping to the baking dish
- Bake for 40 minutes until the topping is golden brown and filling bubbles.
I used Fuji apples for this recipe but feel free to substitute any type you like, just keep in mind that you may want to increase the sugar if you choose something tart like a Granny Smith.
-Julie, Intern Kim and Intern Kate