diets · eating · health

Are grapes the Skittles of the fruit world?

I blogged recently about rescuing sugar (in moderate amounts) from its detractors. See Sugar on my tongue: In defence of the sweet stuff .

You see, around here we’re committed to the idea of moderation. See  Why Food Is Beyond “Good” and “Evil”.

Tracy wrote, “One of my favorite parts of both the  intuitive eating approach and the the demand feeding approach to food is that they both tell us to “legalize” all foods.  Carrot sticks are as legal as carrot cake, neither better nor worse than the other. I can already hear the rumblings in the comments.  “But carrot sticks are better for you than carrot cake!”  I can even hear those who would jump in against carrot sticks because they have a higher sugar content than celery sticks.”

That’s part of my worry about the rush to get rid of sugar. First, it’s sugar, then dried fruit, then high sugar fruit such as grapes, bananas, mangoes, sweet cherries, apples, pineapples, pears and kiwi fruit, then fruit juice, the next thing you know you’re with Tim Ferris on the “fruit only on cheat days” diet plan. (Tracy blogged about that too. See Will I Still Have My 4Hour Body 4 Years from Now?.)

skittles!
skittles!

I was reading about getting rid of sugar as part of my looking about for defenses of sugar. One person advocating a sugar ban said, “But keep eating fruit. Fresh fruit’s okay.” But then this, “But not grapes. Grapes are just little bags of sugar. They’re basically the skittles of the fruit world.”

ARGH!

Really?

WebMD says, “One cup of grapes, with about 100 calories, provides more than a quarter of the daily recommended values of vitamins K and C. Grape seeds, which are edible, are chock-full of antioxidants.”

Medical Knowledge Today says, “One cup of red or green grapes contains 104 calories, 1.09 grams of protein, 0.24 grams of fat, 1.4 grams of fiber, 4.8 milligrams of vitamin C, 10 micrograms of vitamin A, 288 milligrams of potassium, 0.54 milligrams of iron and 3 micrograms of folate.3 Grapes are high in water content and good for hydration. High water-content fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense, meaning they provide a large amount of essential nutrients while containing few calories. Grapes contain 70 milliliters of fluid per cup.2 Grapes are high in antioxidants important for eye health such as lutein and zeaxanthin, and red grapes contain the phytochemical resveratrol in their skins, the antioxidant synonymous with wine known to lend protection from several chronic diseases and conditions. Grapes also boast the power of the flavonoids myricetin and quercetin which help the body to counter-act harmful free radical formation.”

See also What Is the Nutritional Value of Red Grapes? on LiveStrong.

The nutritional facts about Skittles can be found here. A Google search for “health benefits of skittles” turned up no results. Surprise. Chill out people. Grapes are not Skittles. (And even the odd Skittle can have a place in a healthy diet.)

Image: Purple grapes growing on vine in bright sunshine
Image: Purple grapes growing on vine in bright sunshine