Q1: I am on a weight loss diet and like to eat dried fruits. Recently, I was told that I need to stop consuming them as they are loaded with calories. How true is this?
A: Dried fruits in fact are loaded with calories; however, this does not mean you need to completely avoid them. You can still enjoy dried fruits, but in moderation! You can have any of the following dried fruit choices; each of these counts as 1 fruit serving:
- 8 halves of apricots (30g)
- 4 rings of apples (30g)
- 2 halves of peach (30g)
- 3 prunes (30g)
- 3 pieces dates (30g)
Be careful, the drying process can decrease the vitamin C, potassium, and calcium content of fresh fruits, so it would be beneficial to alternate between whole fruits and dried ones.
Q2: I want to gain weight. Is there a healthy way to do so?
A: I’m sure everyone is looking at your question with envy! But believe me, it takes as much effort to gain weight in a healthy way as it takes to lose it. Here are a few tips to stack on a few more kilos in a healthy way:
- Eat small frequent meals 6 times a day.
- Soak bread with few teaspoons of olive oil before you make your sandwich or add olive oil to sauces or salads.
- Top your salads with sautéed potatoes, cheese, boiled eggs, grated carrots, chicken cubes and croutons. Do not start your meal with a salad; rather, leave the salad till after you finish your meal.
- Snack on any of the following choices:
- 2 toast breads with peanut butter or jam
- 1.5 cups of fruit flavored yogurt with corn flakes and honey topped with almonds
- Whole grain bagel with cream cheese
- 1.5 cups of milk shake or smoothie
- 1/4 cup of mixed nuts
- 2 cups of fruit juice
- Drink water either 30 minutes before or after the meal and not while eating.
Check with your physician to determine if you need a supplement drink to meet your needs.