I’ve discussed how berries and a low density diet can help weight loss endeavors. Since then I’ve been asked to discuss more specific examples. Here are other delicious fruits worth adding to a diet that can help you gain momentum in a weight loss plan.
Grapefruit is a cross between a pomelo and an orange and is commonly associated with dieting and weight loss. What’s more, grapefruit has a low glycemic index (GI), which means it releases sugar into your bloodstream more slowly, improving weight loss and keeping it off. In one study, eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice before meals for 12 weeks resulted in a decrease in calorie intake, a 7.1% decrease in body weight, and an improved cholesterol level. Another found that grapefruit consumption reduced body fat, waist circumference, and blood pressure compared to control groups. While grapefruit can be eaten on its own, it also makes a great addition to salads and other dishes.
Apples are low in calories and high in fiber, with 116 calories and 5.4 grams of fiber per large fruit (223 grams). In one study, women were given three apples, three pears, or three oat cookies -with the same calorie value -per day for 10 weeks. The apple group lost 2 pounds and the pear group 1.6 pounds, while the oat group’s weight did not change. In another study, 124,086 participants lost an average of 1.24 pounds per daily serving over a four-year period. Although research shows that apples are best eaten whole, rather than juiced, to reduce hunger and control appetite (an apple is almost three times as filling as a chocolate bar) two studies linked apple juice to reductions in body fat compared to a control drink with the same number of calories. Apples can be enjoyed in a variety of ways both cooked and raw. Try adding them to hot and cold cereals, yogurt, stews, and salads, or baking them on their own.
Stone fruits, also known as drupes, are a group of seasonal fruits with a fleshy exterior and a stone, or pit, on the inside like peaches, nectarines, plums, and apricots. Stone fruits are low-GI, low-calorie, and rich in nutrients, making them a great addition for people trying to lose weight. One medium peach (150 grams) contains 58 calories, while 1 cup (130 grams) of cherries provides 87 calories, and two small plums (120 grams) or four apricots (140 grams) have just 60 calories. Compared to unhealthy snack foods like chips or cookies, stone fruits are a more nutrient-dense, filling option. Stone fruits can be eaten fresh, chopped up in fruit salads, or even grilled or added to savory dishes like stew.
Passion fruit, has a tough outer rind – purple or yellow in color -with an edible, pulpy seed mass inside. One fruit (18 grams) contains just 17 calories and is a rich source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and potassium. For such a small fruit, passion fruit holds ample dietary fiber. In fact, five of them give 42% of the recommended daily value for fewer than 100 calories. As I’ve discussed in previous posts, fiber slows down your digestion, helping you feel fuller for longer and controls your appetite. Additionally, passion fruit seeds provide piceatannol, a substance linked to reductions in blood pressure and improved insulin sensitivity. For weight loss, passion fruit is best consumed whole. It can be eaten alone, used as a topping or filling for desserts, or added to drinks.
Rhubarb, is actually a vegetable, but in Europe and North America, it is often prepared like a fruit. While it has only 11 calories per stalk, it still packs almost 1 gram of fiber. Additionally, rhubarb fiber may help reduce high cholesterol, which is a common problem for people who struggle with their weight. In one study, participants with atherosclerosis, a disease of the arteries, given 23 mg of dried rhubarb extract per pound of body weight (50 mg per kg) for six months experienced a significant decrease in cholesterol and improved blood vessel function. Rhubarb stalks can be stewed and served with porridge or your favorite cereal. Although it can be used in many ways, including in desserts, it’s best to stick to low-sugar rhubarb dishes when trying to lose weight.
Kiwi fruits are small, brown fruits with bright green or yellow flesh and tiny black seeds. Very nutrient-dense, kiwis are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, and fiber, and have significant health benefits. In one study, participants with pre-diabetes who ate two golden kiwis per day, for 12 weeks, experienced a reduction in blood pressure, and a 1.2-inch (3.1-cm) reduction in waist circumference. Kiwis have a low GI, so while they do contain sugar, it is released more slowly -resulting in smaller blood sugar spikes. Kiwis are also rich in dietary fiber. One small, peeled fruit (69 grams) has over 2 grams of fiber, while the skin alone provides 1 extra gram of fiber. Kiwifruit is soft, sweet, and delicious when eaten raw, peeled, or unpeeled. It can also be juiced, used in salads, added to your morning cereal, or used in baked goods.
Melons are low in calories and have a high water content, which makes them very weight-loss friendly. Just 1 cup (150-160 grams) of melon, such as honeydew or watermelon, provides a modest 46-61 calories. Though low in calories, melons are rich in fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lycopene. Moreover, consuming fruits with a high water content helps to shed extra weight. Unfortunately, watermelon has a high glycemic index so portion control is important. Melons can be enjoyed fresh, cubed, or balled to liven up a fruit salad. They’re also easily blended into fruit smoothies or frozen into fruit popsicles.
Citrus fruits, like oranges, are low in calories while high in vitamin C and fiber. They are also very filling. In fact, oranges are four times more filling than a croissant and twice as filling as a muesli bar. While many people consume orange juice instead of orange slices, studies have found that eating whole fruits- rather than drinking fruit juices- not only results in less hunger and calorie intake, but also increased feelings of fullness. Therefore, if you are trying to lose weight, it may be better to eat oranges rather than drink orange juice. The fruit can be eaten alone or added to your favorite salad or dessert.
Bananas are often avoided due to their high sugar and calorie content. While bananas are more calorie-dense than many other fruits, they are also more nutrient-dense, supplying potassium, magnesium, manganese, fiber, numerous antioxidants, and vitamins A, B6, and C. Their low to medium glycemic index may help control insulin levels and regulate weight – particularly for people who have diabetes. Additionally, one study illustrated that eating a banana per day reduced both blood sugar and cholesterol in people with high cholesterol. High-quality, nutrient-dense, and low-calorie foods like bananas are vital to any healthy weight loss plan. They can be enjoyed on their own as a convenient on-the-go snack or added either raw or cooked to a wide variety of dishes.
Avocados, are a fatty, calorie-dense fruit. Half an avocado (100 grams) contains 160 calories, making it one of the most calorie-dense fruits. The same amount provides 25% of the recommended intake for vitamin K and 20% for folate. Despite their high calorie and fat content, avocados can still promote weight loss. A large study of American eating patterns revealed that people who ate avocados tended to have healthier diets, a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, and lower body weights than people who didn’t eat them. Other studies have found that eating avocados can increase feelings of fullness, decrease appetite, and improve cholesterol levels. Avocados can be used as a replacement for butter or margarine on bread and toast. You can also add them to salads, smoothies, or dips.
We all know fruit is an essential part of a healthy diet and weight loss program. The problem is knowing which are the best choices of fruit to fit into your daily meals. Most fruits fit the density diet guidelines- low in calories while high in nutrients and fiber. Although their value is better when eaten whole rather than juiced, any delicious alternative can work to drop the pounds and keep them off.