April 22, 2021

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Best fruits for weight loss: Types, benefits, and risks

6 min read

Fruits that are unsweetened or minimally processed make an excellent snack, as they are rich in a variety of nutrients that support health and well-being. Fruits may also aid weight loss when people include them as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

The natural sweetness of most fruits may also help people satisfy sugar cravings. This in turn may help them avoid fast food and processed snacks and reach a moderate weight. However, some fruits may be better for weight loss than others.

In this article, we discuss the relationship between eating fruit and weight loss. We also list the best fruits people can include in their diet when trying to reach a moderate weight.

Fruit is one of the healthiest sources of carbohydrates. Incorporating fruit in the diet, alongside healthy eating and regular exercise, may contribute to weight loss.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025, people should consume 2 cups of fruit per day as part of a balanced diet.

Research also suggests that eating fruit can help reach and maintain a moderate weight. However, it may be that different forms of fruit have differing effects on body weight, according to this 2016 study.

Other studies report that most types of fruit have beneficial properties, including anti-obesity effects, and contain a range of vitamins and minerals. That is why some health organizations suggest fruit consumption for weight loss.

Fruit may contribute to weight loss in several ways.

Fiber

Fruit is high in fiber, which is the indigestible part of plants and carbohydrates.

Studies link higher intake of fiber with lower body weight. Fiber can keep people feeling satiated for longer, which may reduce the overall number of calories in a person’s diet.

Authors of a 2019 study report that, as a result of consuming dietary fiber, adults with obesity or overweight following a calorie restricted diet lost weight and stuck to dietary recommendations.

Calories and water content

Many fruits, such as berries and melons, have high water content. As a rich source of both fiber and water, fruits are a filling option that may help people feel full.

Low glycemic index

The glycemic index (GI) measures the effects food has on blood sugar levels.

Foods with a lower GI will cause slower blood sugar changes than foods with a high GI. Experts consider foods with a value lower than 55 to be low GI.

Research indicates that a calorie-controlled low GI diet may be more effective for weight loss than a high GI diet that is low in fat.

While most fruits have a low GI, tropical fruits, such as pineapple, mango, and watermelon, have a moderate or high GI. However, moderate to high GI fruits can still be a part of a healthy diet.

Natural sweetness

The natural sweetness of fruits may help curb sugar cravings. Choosing fruit instead of cookies or cakes will help a person consume fewer calories and less fat and added sugars while still allowing them to enjoy a sweet treat.

When people use fruit as a substitute for other sweet foods while following a balanced diet, they may experience weight loss.

All fruits contain nutrients that play an important role in overall health. Studies have shown the following fruits may help with weight loss:

Apples

One medium apple contains 104 calories and 4.8 grams (g) of fiber. Eating apples daily may aid weight loss.

A 2015 study focusing on children and adolescents showed that BMI z-scores of people who ate whole apples and apple products were lower than those of people who did not consume these foods. The latter group were also more likely to have obesity.

The BMI z-score is an adjusted score that takes into account a child’s sex and age. It is also known as the BMI standard deviation (s.d.) score.

Avocado

Half an avocado contains 120 calories and 5 g of fiber. It is also a good source of heart-healthy fats, vitamin K, and folate.

Avocado may increase feelings of fullness and reduce appetite, which are factors that can support weight management efforts.

One study reports that regular avocado consumption may help people maintain a moderate weight. Study participants with a moderate weight at the beginning of the study gained significantly less weight after a period of 4–11 years than those who did not eat avocado regularly.

Bananas

One banana contains 112 calories and 3.3 g of fiber. Bananas are also rich in potassium, which is essential for heart health.

Thanks to their sweet taste and high fiber content, bananas may contribute to the feeling of satiety and curb sugar cravings. They are also a highly portable healthy snack, and they are easy to consume on the go.

Berries

Berries are a great option for weight loss, as they have a high water content and the lowest GI of all fruits. Different berries have slightly different nutrient profiles, but they all contain essential vitamins and minerals that support general health.

Popular berries include:

A 2015 study of 12 premenopausal women reports that those who ate 65 calories of berries as a snack ate less food during their next meal than those who ate a 65-calorie serving of candy.

Grapefruit

Half a grapefruit contains 65 calories and 2.5 g of fiber. It is also a rich source of vitamin C.

A 2011 study of 85 adults with obesity notes that the participants who ate grapefruit or drank grapefruit juice before meals experienced a decrease in calorie intake, a 7.1% decrease in body weight, and improved cholesterol levels.

While the participants who drank water before meals experienced a similar reduction in body weight, their cholesterol levels did not improve.

It is important to note that people should not consume grapefruit if they are taking certain medications, including statins, calcium channel blockers, and some psychiatric drugs. This is because grapefruit might affect the way the medications work.

Kiwifruit

One kiwifruit contains 44 calories and 2.3 g of fiber.

According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, each medium fruit contributes 71% of a person’s daily value of vitamin C.

A 2018 study reports that individuals with prediabetes who ate two golden kiwis daily for 12 weeks experienced a 1.2-inch reduction in their waist circumference. They also had a reduction in blood pressure and an increase in vitamin C levels.

Melons

Various melons may contribute to weight loss thanks to their high water content and sweet flavor. Common melon varieties include:

However, due to the GI ratings of melons, people should consume them in moderation.

According to research derived from multiple studies by different laboratories, the average GI of watermelon is 76, making it a high GI food. Both cantaloupe and honeydew melons have a moderate GI.

Oranges

One medium orange contains 72 calories and 3.7 g of fiber.

It also contains 81.9 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 109% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for a female and 91% for a male.

Passion fruit

This South American fruit contains 18 calories and 1.9 g of fiber.

It also has a compound called piceatannol, which improves blood pressure and heart rate and may increaseinsulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance may contribute to weight gain.

Stone fruits

Stone fruits, or drupes, are fruits that contain a stone or pit. Examples include:

Each fruit has a unique nutritional composition and provides several essential vitamins and minerals. Moreover, stone fruits have a low GI and are typically low in calories, which can aid weight loss.

Some stone fruits may also provide other health benefits. For example, tart cherry consumption may reduce markers of metabolic syndrome, according to a study in rodents. The syndrome is a cluster of symptoms such as hypertension, central obesity, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia.

Some people follow a fruitarian diet. Most people who eat this way will consume most of their calories from raw fruit, with a small number coming from vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

While people on this diet may get many important vitamins and minerals from fruit, they may not get sufficient quantities of other nutrients, such as:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers guidelines on the amounts of daily fruit consumption.

Fruit can be an excellent aid to reaching or maintaining a moderate weight. While all fruits provide health benefits, some may be better than others for contributing to satiety and keeping blood sugar levels stable.

People who wish to consume fruit to aid weight loss should do so as part of a balanced diet. Other factors, such as physical activity and adequate sleep, also play a role in weight management and overall health.

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