21 Mar The 10 Best Fruits for Weight Loss: Complete Edition
It’s National Nutrition Month!
Learning about proper nutrition is something we could all use … but sometimes with topics like this, you think, “This is all fine and well, but how does it apply to me right this moment?”
Fair enough! That’s why today’s PHMP Online Knowledgebase article is about nutrition and weight loss—the 10 best fruits you can eat to promote weight loss. It’s a one-two punch of applicable knowledge.
Let’s get started.
First, a little caveat…
It’s important not to be misleading.
The following list of delicious, nutritious fruits are not a catalyst for weight loss without any additional effort. That means (unfortunately!) you can’t bite into an apple and instantly watch your waistline shrink.
Among other things, weight loss is primarily dependent on diet and exercise. Even moderate exercise, such as walking, helps.
So if you get your steps in and you add some or all of these wondrous fruits into your diet, then you’re much more likely to see weight loss. In the very least, the improvement to your diet will have you feeling better each day.
Grapefruit is both low-calorie and vitamin-dense.
- Half a grapefruit contains 39 calories and provides 65% of your recommended intake of vitamin C
- Red varieties of grapefruit also provide 28% of your vitamin A 1
Grapefruit has a low glycemic index (GI), which means it releases sugar into your bloodstream more slowly. Though evidence is limited, a low-GI diet may aid weight loss and weight maintenance. 2 3 4 5
In a study of 85 obese people, eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice before meals for 12 weeks resulted in: 6
- a decrease in calorie intake
- a 7.1% decrease in body weight
- improved cholesterol levels
Grapefruit is great on its own, but it also makes an awesome addition to salads and other dishes.
Apples are lightweight, clocking in at only 116 calories. As a bonus, they’re packed with fiber: 5.4 grams per large fruit.
They have also been found to support weight loss.
In one study, women were given three apples, three pears, or three oat cookies—with the same calorie value—per day for 10 weeks. 7
- the apple group lost 2 pounds
- the pear group 1.6 pounds
- the oat group’s weight did not change
Low-calorie fruits like apples are more filling, so adding them into your regular diet may result in you eating less of other foods during the day. That, of course, leads to weight loss. you may eat less of other foods during the course of the day. Fun fact: one apple is almost three times as filling as a chocolate bar. 8
Skip the apple juice, though: research shows that apples are best eaten whole to reduce hunger and control appetite. 9
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.
Berries are low-calorie nutrient powerhouses.
- a 1/2 cup of blueberries equals just 42 calories
- it provides 12% of the RDI for vitamin C and manganese
- and 18% for vitamin K
- One cup of strawberries contains under 50 calories
- provides 3 grams of dietary fiber
- and 150% of the RDI for vitamin C
Like apples, berries can also be very filling. One small study found that people given a 65-calorie berry snack ate less food at a subsequent meal than those given candy with the same number of calories. 10
- Eating berries may help decrease cholesterol levels
- Reduce blood pressure and
- Lower inflammation—which may be particularly helpful to people who are overweight
Both fresh or frozen berries can be added to cereal or yogurt for breakfast, blended in a healthy smoothie, mixed into baked goods, or tossed in a salad.
Stone fruits are, simply, fruits with hard cores, or pits, such as:
- and apricots
Stone fruits are low-glycemic index?a value used to measure how much specific foods increase blood sugar levels (GI), low-calorie, and rich in vitamins A and C—ideal for losing weight.
|Peach||One medium-sized peach||58 calories|
|Cherries||One cup||87 calories|
|Plums||Two small plums||60 calories|
|Apricots||Four units||60 calories|
Bonus cherry-related recipe
Cherry-Chicken Lettuce Wraps courtesy Taste of Home
- 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1-1/2 cups shredded carrots
- 1-1/4 cups coarsely chopped pitted fresh sweet cherries
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped almonds
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 8 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves
- Sprinkle chicken with ginger, salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 3-5 minutes or until no longer pink.
- Remove from heat. Stir in carrots, cherries, green onions and almonds. In a small bowl, mix vinegar, teriyaki sauce and honey; stir into chicken mixture. Divide among lettuce leaves; fold lettuce over filling.
Stone fruits can be eaten fresh, chopped up in fruit salads, mixed into a hearty porridge, or even grilled or added to savory dishes like stews.
Passion fruit has a tough outer rind—purple or yellow in color—with an edible, pulpy seed mass inside.
One fruit contains just 17 calories and is rich in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and potassium. That’s a lotta stuff!
|42%||Five small passion fruits||Less than 100 calories|
Fiber slows down your digestion, helping you feel fuller for longer and controlling your appetite.
Passion fruit seeds provide piceatannol, a substance linked to reductions in blood pressure and improved insulin sensitivity in overweight men. This is promising stuff, but more research is needed for this to be a definite.
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.
Very nutrient-dense, kiwis are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, and fiber, and have significant health benefits.
In one study, 41 people with prediabetes ate two golden kiwis per day for 12 weeks. They experienced higher vitamin C levels, a reduction in blood pressure, and a 1.2-inch reduction in waist circumference (!).
Additional studies note that kiwi can help control blood sugar, improve cholesterol, and support gut health—all additional weight loss benefits.
|1 grams||One small, peeled kiwi||Kiwi 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.
Not only are melons low in calories, they’re rich in fiber, potassium, and antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lycopene.
|Honeydew or watermelon||One cup||46 to 61 calories|
But watch out: watermelon sports a high GI—between 47 and 55 GI, depending on the type of watermelon—so if your go-to melon is watermelon, it’s important to keep portion control in mind.
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.
Like all citrus fruits, oranges are low in calories while high in vitamin C and fiber. They are also very filling.
|1 orange (140g)||2.8 grams||approx. 90% RDA?Recommended Dietary Allowance|
How filling, you ask? Oranges are four times more filling than a croissant and twice as filling as a muesli bar (muesli bars are essentially granola bars).
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.
Fruit juices are often loaded with unnecessary sugars, and ought to be avoided in most cases. So if you are trying to lose weight, eat oranges rather than drink ’em. The fruit can be eaten alone or added to your favorite salad or dessert.
When trying to lose weight, some people avoid bananas due to their high sugar and calorie content.
While bananas are more calorie-dense than many other fruits, they’re also nutrient-dense, packing a goodly amount of the following:
- vitamins A, B6, and C
Their low-to-medium GI may help control insulin levels and regulate weight—particularly for people who have diabetes.
We all know the expression about an apple a day, right? Well, add bananas to that: One study illustrated that eating a banana per day reduced both blood sugar and cholesterol in people with high cholesterol.
Bananas 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 grown in warm climates.
Avocados are one of the most calorie-dense fruits, but despite their high calorie and fat content, avocados may still promote weight loss.
|Half an avocado (100g)||160 calories||15 grams||25% of RDA||20% of RDA|
In one study, 61 overweight people ate a diet containing either 200 grams of avocado or 30 grams of other fats (margarine and oils). Both groups experienced significant weight loss, indicating that avocados are a smart choice for those looking to lose weight.
Other studies have found that eating avocados can increase feelings of fullness, decrease appetite, and improve cholesterol levels.
Another 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.
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.
And a bonus “fruit” …
Adding rhubarb to the list is a bit of a cheat…
Rhubarb is actually a vegetable, but in Europe and North America, it is often prepared like a fruit. So we’re counting it as a fruit.
|One stalk||11 calories||1 gram||20% of RDA|
Additionally, rhubarb fiber may help reduce high cholesterol, which is a common problem for people who struggle with their weight.
In a study in 83 people with atherosclerosis?a disease of the arteries characterized by the deposition of plaques of fatty material on their inner walls, those 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.
We hoped your enjoyed our 10 Best Fruits for Weight Loss mini-series and that it has inspired you to add some delicious fruits to your diet and weight-loss plans!
Michal VenemanPosted at 07:10h, 31 March
Leslie rosePosted at 16:23h, 29 March
Enjoyed the education
Linda VancePosted at 00:12h, 24 March
Natalie BerkleyPosted at 17:47h, 23 March
Great article as I have begun a diet, and this is very helpful.