Can Fruit Help With Weight Loss?
Eating fruit can be wonderfully beneficial as part of a healthy weight loss journey, as fruit is packed with fibre and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) while being relatively low in calories. Fruit can promote a healthy gut and can help curb sweet cravings, both of which may benefit weight loss.
What are the benefits of eating fruit during a healthy weight loss journey?
Fruit is a good source of fibre. Along with the high water content of fruit, fibre makes it filling and satiating, which can help keep appetite at bay. Fibre can promote regularity and support with gut health. A study in the journal Nutrients found that overweight or obese adults who ate more fruit experienced greater weight loss than those who didn’t. I recommend sticking to whole fruit rather than drinking fruit juice, which has had most of the fibre stripped away.
Curb Sweet Cravings
Fruit is a great way to satisfy sweet cravings, replacing higher calorie treats. Due to the naturally occurring sugar in fruit, I always recommend combining it with a source of protein and healthy fats, which take longer to digest and so slow the absorption rate of sugar – this reduces the spike in blood sugar that can occur after eating fruit on its own (without protein or fats).
Fruit helps promote a healthy gut microbiome – that’s the collection of trillions of beneficial bacteria and other organisms that live within your digestive tract. Consuming fruit can improve the diversity of your gut bacteria, which is key for weight management. Certain fruits such as apples contain prebiotics – a special type of fibre that helps to feed the good gut bacteria in your microbiome.
5 fruits to include to support weight loss
Please note: Diversity is key and all fruits can form part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Berries are very high in fibre and very low in sugar and calories. Regular consumption of berries may also help lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure and inflammation, all of which may be beneficial for overweight people.
Apples contain a type of prebiotic fibre called pectin, which supports good gut health. The crunchy texture requires plenty of chewing, which can help promote feelings of fullness. Try baking them with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a delicious dessert.
Kiwis are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K and folate, as well as being high in fibre. The skin of kiwis is particularly high in fibre, so I recommend eating it – or blending it into a smoothie! Kiwis have a low glycaemic index (GI), which means that the naturally-occurring sugar is released more slowly into the bloodstream, resulting in smaller blood sugar spikes.
At just 37 calories, half a grapefruit provides over half your daily recommended intake of vitamin C. Grapefruit also has a low glycaemic index (GI), which means it releases sugar into your bloodstream more slowly. In addition, grapefruit is high in naringenin, a type of flavonoid with antioxidant properties that may help protect against diabetes and heart disease.
Pineapples are sweet yet tangy and contain an enzyme called bromelain, which supports healthy digestion by breaking down protein molecules and promoting nutrient absorption. Pineapple do contain a bit more sugar than the other fruits listed though, so be mindful of portion sizes.
Is dried fruit an equally-nutritious snack as regular fresh fruit?
Fresh fruit is generally a better option as the sugar in dried fruit is more concentrated. The water content of fresh fruit – along with the fibre – helps keep you full, and results in less of a blood sugar spike than the equivalent fruit in dried form.
Fruit is extremely nutrient-dense and has a high fibre content and a high water content. In addition, the naturally occurring sugars in fruit can help satisfy a sweet tooth, making fruit a delicious and nourishing component of a healthy weight loss journey.
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Check out my other nutrition-related blog posts below:
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