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Fruits, like vegetables, are good sources of fiber, and they're low in fat. They contain no cholesterol, and because of their high water content, are low in calories.

Since many fresh fruits contain appreciable amounts of natural sugar (simple carbohydrates), you should limit your intake to four exchanges per day. Very active people can add additional fruit—up to two or more additional exchanges each day. Frozen or canned fruits, packed without sugar or syrup, are also recommended. Note that dried fruits are more concentrated sources of sugar, and so their exchange equivalent is half that of fresh fruit. Here is a list of fresh, frozen, and unsweetened canned fruit and fruit-juice exchanges:

Fruits: apple (fresh: 1 small, about 2.5 -inch diameter; dried, 4 rings), applesauce (unsweetened: 0.5 cup), apricots (fresh: 4 medium; dried: 6 halves), banana (0.5 medium), berries (blueberries, raspberries, and so on: 0.75 cup), cantaloupe (5-inch diameter, 1/3 melon), cherries (large, 12), cherries (canned, 0.5 cup), dates (2 medium), figs (fresh: 2,2-inch diameter; dried: 2 small), fruit cocktail (canned: 0.5 cup), grapefruit (0.5 medium), grapes (15 small), honeydew melon (0.125) melon, cubed, 1 cup), kiwi (1 large), kumquats (5), mandarin oranges (0.75 cup), mango (0.5 small), nectarine (1 medium, 2-inch diameter), orange (1 medium, 2-inch diameter), papaya (1 cup), peach (1 medium, 2.5 -inch diameter, or 0.75 cup), pear (0.5 large or 1 small), pineapple (fresh: 0.75 cup), plantain (0.5 small), plums (2, 2-inch diameter), prunes (fresh: 2 medium; dried: 3), raisins (2 tablespoons), strawberries (fresh, 1.25 cups), tangerine (2, 2.5 -inch diameter), watermelon (1.25 cups cubed).

Fruit juices: apple juice or cider (0.5 cup), cranberry juice cocktail (1/3 cup), grapefruit juice (0.5 cup), grapefruit juice cocktail (1/3 cup), grape juice (0.5 cup), orange juice (0.5 cup), pineapple juice (0/5 cup), prune juice (1/3 cup).

The complex-carbohydrate exchange list is extensive and varied enough to afford anyone a nutritious and delicious way of achieving and maintaining optimal health and fitness. Complex carbohydrate foods—cereals, grains, vegetables, and fruits—can help you build a better, fitter, and healthier body. By applying the exchange principles outlined here, you can begin to establish lifelong eating patterns that help you achieve optimal health and maximum mental performance.

The following portions of complex-carbohydrate foods contain about 60 to 90 calories:

Breads

0.5 (average size) bagel (water, not egg)

1 slice bread (rye, whole-grain, French, white, sourdough)

1 hamburger bun

1 English muffin

Grains, Pastas, Cereals

0.5 cup barley (cooked)

0.5 cup whole-grain cereals

0.5 cup grits (cooked)

0.5 cup macaroni (cooked)

0.5 cup oatmeal (cooked)

0.5 cup rice (brown, cooked)

0.5 cup spaghetti (cooked)

Vegetables

0.5 cup beans (cooked)

0.5 cup corn (kernels, cooked)

0.5 cups corn (hot-air popped)

0.5 cup lentils (cooked)

0.5cup peas (green, cooked)

1 cup potato (baked, average)

0.5cup potato (mashed)

0.75cup squash (winter)

The complex-carbohydrate foods should make up from 60 percent to 80 percent of your total daily calories on the Eat Smart, Think Smart plan. These foods are relatively low in fat, sodium, and calories and contain no cholesterol. Complex carbohydrates are the only sources of fiber; vitamin E; and trace minerals, such as copper, manganese, and chromium— nutrients that research suggests can slow down the brain-aging process and help prevent degenerative diseases.

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