The health benefits of fruit are significantly better than fruity desserts—and you can eat more. Pictured: fruit and fruity desserts

Along with beach trips, barbecues, and baseball games, the abundance of fresh, juicy fruit is among summer’s greatest pleasures. Not only that, but the health benefits of upping your fruit intake—such as improved digestive function, lowered blood pressure, and weight loss—may be greater than you think.

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But here’s the rub—even if it seems like fruit’s health halo may apply to fruit desserts like pie, pops, and parfaits, that is not the case. Even if they contain some fruit, they typically contain added sugars, too, and don't supply the fiber and potassium that you get from fresh or frozen fruit.

“On top of all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you get from eating fruit,” says Amy Keating, R.D., a CR nutritionist, “its fiber helps keep you full and slows the release of the fruit's sugar into your bloodstream."

That may help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and contribute to a healthier weight. Multiple studies have shown that people who eat fruit tend to weigh less, and one study of nearly half a million people in China found that eating fruit daily was linked to a 12 percent reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Increased fiber intake is also associated with lowered cholesterol, while potassium has been shown to lower blood pressure.

Another bonus: Making fresh fruit your dessert means you can eat a lot more of it! To help you see just how much healthy summer goodness fruit delivers compared with fruit desserts, we calculated 100-calorie portions of six pairings so you can decide for yourself how you want to spend your calories this summer