Peaches are an excellent source of vitamins and fiber, and they are low in calories, according to an article by Angela Ruhlen, MFCS. One small peach has between 30 to 40 calories. Carbohydrates are a key part of a balanced diet. Monitoring the number of carbs you eat each day is an effective way to track your intake and manage your weight.
What are Carbohydrates?
Some people associated carbohydrates with unhealthy food. This is misleading. The body uses carbs for energy, and you need them. Not all carbs are suitable for you. For instance, candy offers a simple carbohydrate, or sugar. Processed sugar is not the best choice for a snack. Peaches provide a variety of naturally occurring carbohydrates. That, plus the low-calorie count, make a peach nutritious snack food.
Canned or Fresh
When possible, fresh is always better. Canned fruits can have added sugar. This means they will have more calories and processed carbohydrates. Fresh does not necessarily mean you must eat the fruit raw. You can incorporate fresh peaches into meals and snack foods. For example, adding peaches to yogurt is a natural way to sweeten it. If you must select dried or canned peaches, look for products with no syrup or sucrose added.
Sucrose vs. Fructose
Table sugar consists of sucrose. The carbohydrates found in peaches, and all fruits, are fructose. When looking at processed foods, read the labels. Select foods containing fructose over the less-healthy sucrose whenever possible. If buying canned peach slices, ignore the products whose labels include additional sucrose. Manufacturers do this to make their products sweeter, but it reduces the nutritional quality of the fruit.
How Many Carbohydrates Should You Eat a Day?
The Mayo Clinic recommends that your diet include 45 to 65 percent carbohydrates. This means if you are counting calories, up to 65 percent of your daily limit should be carbohydrates. Peaches can be part of that plan. There is more to peaches than just carbs, however. They provide dietary fiber and vitamin C, as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, that suggests everyone should have 14 g of fiber for every 1,000 daily calories. The fiber content in peaches is in their skin. A medium peach provides roughly 2 g of fiber, according to the University of Arkansas. Other essential nutrients in a fresh peach include potassium, vitamin A and niacin.
- The University of Georgia; Nutrition for Older Adults' Health; 2008
- University of Kentucky; Kentucky Peaches; Sarah Ball Brandl
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Carbohydrates; 2011
- Mayo Clinic; Carbohydrates: How Carbs Fit Into a Healthy Diet; 2011
- University of Arkansas: Arkansas Fresh Peache3s