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Can I gain weight from eating apples? I’m hooked (honeycrisp!) but I’ve been told they’re very sugary and need to scale back (only one a day, max.)

THE ANSWER

An apple a day will not cause you to consume too much sugar, so keep up your healthy habit! In fact you should be eating more than one fruit serving (e.g. one medium sized fruit) each day. Fruit is one of the best sources of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. That's why we're told to get 7 to 10 servings of fruit and vegetables, combined, each day.

However, people with diabetes and those trying to lose weight can't eat all the fruit and vegetables they want. That's because all types of fruit and some vegetables contain higher amounts of natural sugar.

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Eating too many of these fruits and vegetables can elevate blood sugar levels and deliver excess calories to the diet.

American Cancer Society’s updated diet and physical activity guidelines to help lower cancer risk

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Consider than one medium sized fruit has 70 to 100 calories worth of natural sugar. Green peas (1/2 cup = 62 calories) and potatoes (1/2 cup = 68 calories) are higher in calories than vegetables that have a higher water content like broccoli (22 calories) and green beans (27 calories).

So if you are trying to lose weight, fill up on low calorie, water-rich vegetables like leafy greens, zucchini, peppers, broccoli and cauliflower. Aim for four to five servings per day. Keep your fruit intake to two to three servings per day.

People with diabetes should also limit their intake of fruit and higher sugar vegetables - but they certainly do not have to avoid eating them.

Send dietitian Leslie Beck your questions at dietitian@globeandmail.com. Your name will not be published if your question is chosen.

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The content provided in The Globe and Mail’s Ask a Health Expert centre is for information purposes only and is neither intended to be relied upon nor to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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