Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

When is real fruit not real fruit?

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I was a teensy bit surprised to read this article about misleading “fruit” snacks. Surely everyone knows that “Real fruit gummies” are not a reasonable substitute for actual fruit? But, after finishing the article and thinking about it a little bit I realised that, sadly, many people may not realise this. I mean Real fruit is in the name so it seems somewhat reasonable to conclude that the snacks contain real fruit. Also, there are dried fruit snacks out there that are actually made from fruit.
The article makes is sound as if it’s a huge ordeal for parents to put a piece of fruit in a kids lunch box. Really? Is it that much more work to stick in an apple or an orange or whatever? Most types of fruit do not need to be cut-up for kids to eat them first. I know that when I was growing-up apples didn’t come pre-sliced with caramel dipping sauce, they were whole and you bit into them unadorned!
Dried fruit snacks are better than the “real” fruit gummies but they still don’t have anything on whole fruit. As they’re dried you’re not getting the hydrating benefits of whole fruit and you may be losing out on some heat sensitive nutrients. You’re also increasing risk of dental caries when you snack on dried fruit snacks so if you do decide to go that route make sure you rinse your mouth with water after if you’re not able to brush your teeth.
I think the most important lesson here is that if something says “real fruit” on the label you need to read more closely because real fruit does not actually have a label at all.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

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