Semi typical bbq spread
As summer approaches, one of the food perks is increasingly exciting fruit. Over Memorial Day weekend, I received a couple of emails from clients wondering “can I eat cherries and watermelon?”  The easy answer, if you’re at let’s say a barbeque is if you’re choosing between cherries or watermelon and this
then let’s be sensible, fruit is always the healthier pick. This seems obvious but if cherries and watermelon are mentally categorized as “all sugar” things get confusing.  If we’re comparing “apples to apples” or in this case cherries to apples, how do we judge a fruit and which are best to eat?
When you’re at a market or farm stand, if everything isn’t organic you want to choose wisely.  Many of your berries are on the dirty dozen list. Cherries are higher pesticide and really should be purchased organic. Watermelon on the other hand is a member of the “Clean 15” a low pesticide fruit. If organic isn’t an option, watermelon is one of your best choices. If you’re unconvinced about organic, plug a few favorite fruits into this site; they list pesticides and type (carcinogen, endocrine disrupter the appetizing list goes on) it’s eye opening to say the least. 
Score 1 for watermelon.
Another gauge for fruits is ORAC a measure of antioxidants. While cherries don’t have an ORAC score as high as blueberries or blackberries, they have a commendable 3747. Watermelon comes in at 140. These scores are per 100 grams of food so the water content of watermelon works against it here.
Cherries a winer here.
Calories, Fiber, Sugar
All fruit is fairly low in calories. Watermelon and strawberries are some of the lowest with cherries and grapes almost double in calories. Fiber all stars include raspberries and blackberries with 8 grams per cup. Cherries have 3 and watermelon only 1 gram. For me, this is a drawback of these fruits. Fiber helps promote satiety and regularity. I advise clients to keep lower fiber fruits for snacks; at breakfast higher fiber choices are preferable to start your day. Another great measure for foods is Glycemic Load (different from glycemic index as it takes into account commonly consumed portions). Most non-dried fruits are low GL (less than 10). Grapes, bananas and cherries are higher and watermelon, apples and strawberries are less than 5 or very low.
Watermelon lower in calories and Glycemic Load.
Cherries have slightly more fiber.
Bragging Rights
With Father’s day approaching, if you’re stumped on what to get for dad (or your husband, father in law, grandfather etc.), you may want to consider watermelon . Watermelon contains more lycopene than tomatoes making it my #1 prostate health food. Cherries have their own reasons to brag. Cherries and more potently cherry juice is on par with aspirin as a pain reliever. It’s useful for pain from both gout and exercise and has been tested in studies with athletes. Cherries also have notable melatonin content.

So, are watermelon and cherries good to eat? They are, they’re both healthy. If you’re actively trying to lose weight I would choose watermelon over cherries. And just for a reminder with all the delicious summer fruit, in the name of knowledge is power it is possible to overfruit.
Are you a cherry and watermelon eater or are you “sugary fruit”phobic? What are your favorite fruits and approximately how much fruit do you have a day?  Any fruits you limit? For extra credit who said “knowledge is power”?
“Googling is cheating”
 Lauren Slayton
 nutritionist, googler and hypocrite

Our contribution to baseball snack this weekend (watermelon). The next day someone brings doughnuts to game with some silly “Bloomberg says these are ok” disclaimer/joke, not funny.


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