How Much Fruit Should You Be Eating Per Day?

How much fruit should you eat in a day?

The first clause of adopting a healthy diet is eating plenty of fruits. Not only do they help you lose weight and look and feel fabulously fit, they can also help stave off plenty of other health diseases. The problem, however, arises because not many of us know what the daily recommended intake of fruit is, nor do we understand how much of fruit we are talking about. Also, many people find themselves asking if there’s something called eating too much fruit and whether it might lead to diabetes.

Here’s an attempt at answering some of these questions that so many of us have.

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How Many Servings Of Fruit Per Day Is Healthy?

The daily recommended intake of fruit depends on numerous factors like gender, age, and daily physical activity.

The daily recommended intake of fruit is different for different people and depends on numerous factors like gender, age, and the kind of physical activity the person in question indulges in. In accordance with the guidelines provided by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following serves as a good estimate to start with. A person could have a higher or lower activity level, hence we’ve categorized this into three basic levels of exercise over and above the hustle and bustle of your everyday life.

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1. Lightly Active Men And Women: An average of less than 30 minutes of exercise each day

  • Women aged between 19-30 years: 2 cups fruit
  • Men aged between 19-50 years: 2 cups fruit
  • Women aged between 31-50 years: 1 and a 1/2 cups fruit
  • Men aged 51 years and above: 2 cups fruit
  • Women aged 51 years and above: 1 and a 1/2 cups fruit

2. Moderately Active Men And Women: An average of 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day

  • Women aged between 19-50 years: 2 cups fruit
  • Men aged between 19-30 years: 2 cups fruit
  • Women aged 51 years and above: 1 and a 1/2 cups fruit
  • Men aged 51 years and above: 2 cups fruit

3. Very Active Men And Women: An average of 60 minutes of exercise or more each day

  • Men aged between 19-30 years: 2 and a 1/2 cups fruit
  • Women aged between 19-50 years: 2 cups fruit
  • Men aged between 31-50 years: 2 and a 1/2 cups fruit
  • Women aged 51 years and above: 2 cups fruit
  • Men aged 51 years and above: 2 cups fruit

What Is Meant By A Serving?

 For most fruits, a single half cup means a serving; this includes frozen, fresh, and 100% juice.

Servings are usually measured by the 1/2 cup and a full cup. These can be tallied up to a total for each day. Your goal is to make sure you match the number of fruit servings actually consumed each day, to the total number of cups recommended in the guidelines above. For most fruits, a single half cup means a serving; this includes frozen, fresh, and 100% juice. Dried fruit would be an exception; in this case, the required serving is 1/4 cup.

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What Exactly Does One Cup Of Fruit Look Like?

A lot of fruits, especially when they’ve been chopped or cut, are easy to measure. You can bring out your measuring cups and fill them up with the fruit you’re about to eat for a reference point. For uncut fruit, a single large piece of fruit like a banana, a grapefruit or an apple is the rough equivalent of a cup.

How Do You Eat That Many Servings The Right Way?

It is best to space out your fruit intake such that they can be digested well.

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Space out your fruit servings well to get the most out of your fruit intake. The aim is not to finish your entire daily intake in one sitting, but to enjoy your fruits from different sources and eat them in such a way that they can be digested well.

If you are the standard three-meals-a-day and a snack type, then try aiming for 1 to 1 and a 1/2 cups for each meal, plus another 1/2 cup for your snack. If, however, you prefer to eat six smaller meals in a day, ensure that you get 1/2 cup to one full cup of fruit at each mini meal.

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Is There Really Something Called “Too Much Fruit”?

If you’re eating whole fruit, it’s a little difficult to eat too much. This is because fruits in their raw form are very high in water and fiber content, which makes them quite filling. Hence, it is not too easy to eat large amounts of fruit in a day.

Research however claims that even if one was to eat as many as many as 20 servings a day, for 2 weeks in a row, it would show no adverse effects on your health, in fact, would only benefit you in a number of ways by reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and possibly, even colon cancer. 1

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Unless you’re intolerant to fruit or are on a ketogenic diet (since fruits are high in carbs), you have no reason to limit your intake of fruit.
However, it is still important to consume your daily intake of fruit as part of a well-balanced diet which includes a variety of other whole foods.

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