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Doc Talk | Best produce to pick and eat before summer ends

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Summer is a time for a lot of great things we don’t get the rest of the year, including beaches, pools and ice cream on a hot day. But it’s also great for fresh produce, including corn on the cob, red bell peppers, cantaloupe and peaches. Holy Spirit Clinical Dietitian Beth Baker told CBS 21 what’s the best produce to buy and eat before summer ends.

“I think berries. It’s a great time to get fresh berries. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, all kinds of melon, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, peaches and nectarines,” said Holy Spirit Clinical Dietitian Beth Baker.

Baker says summer is the time to load up on produce. She says it’s jam-packed with nutrients, even the kind of produce that comes canned or frozen.

“The nutritional value of canned or frozen is just as good as fresh, and you really do retain a lot of those nutrients during the processing,” said Baker.

Fresh is best, of course, but frozen fruits and vegetables aren’t too far off. But Baker says sodium is often added to canned vegetables, so look for the “no salt added” or “low sodium” options. When it comes to sugar in fruits, Baker says not to worry about that too much.

“The sugar that’s in fruit is natural sugar, so that is a different compared to added sugar so I don’t think you have to worry about it as much,” said Baker.

Baker says fruits and vegetables should make up half your plate at every meal, so load up before all the good stuff is gone.

Baker also says you can lose some of the nutrients when you cook the food. She says it’s best to cook vegetables for a shorter period of time and to either steam or roast them rather than boil them.

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