Whenever we read about weight loss diets, vegetables and fresh fruits are always at the top of “healthy food” lists. After all, they’re packed with micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that your body needs in order to be healthy. So doesn’t that make eating fruit for weight loss a good thing? The answer: not necessarily…
The Benefits of Fruit for Weight Loss
Fruit is an amazing source of natural sugar, which satiates your taste buds and gives you that little sweet hit you crave throughout the day. Fruit is also loaded in fiber and critical nutrients, and is an amazing source of energy. You’ll find that a few servings of fruit per day is a very good way to get a lot of very important micronutrients that are hard to get elsewhere. All in all, fruit does play a vital role in weight loss.
The Downsides of Fruit for Weight Loss
The main problem with fruit for weight loss is that it contains a lot of sugar. All fruits contain fructose, a naturally-occurring sugar that gives fruit its sweetness. Paired with the high fiber content of fruit, it’s not a sugar you need to worry about. However, when you eat A LOT of it, there is a risk that you will gain weight—especially if you’re eating other sugar- and carb-rich foods. Limiting your fruit intake is the best way to ensure you don’t gain weight just because of your higher sugar intake.
How Fruits Help You Out
Fruits offer a lot of upsides: they’re rich in filling fiber, and they’ll help to keep you full; they supply you with the energy you need to get in a good workout; they reduce the risk of health problems like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease; and, best of all, they’re an amazing source of the antioxidants your body needs to function properly. Ideally, you’d get two or three servings of fruits per day!
Too Much Fruit is Bad
If you add more than two or three servings of fruit to your diet every day, your sugar intake will increase. That means your body has more glucose available sitting in your bloodstream, which means more of the glucose from the other foods you eat will end up being stored as fat. A high-carb diet will lead to fat and weight gain far faster than a high-fat diet because carbs are the first thing your body turns into fat. Even if those are healthy carbs—like fruit—you’ll still end up gaining all that weight!
Which Fruits to Focus On
If you’re only limited to a few servings of fruit per day, you’ve got to make sure to focus on getting the healthiest ones possible. That means the fruits that have the highest amounts of nutrients—fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The top of the list will always be berries, as they contain the highest antioxidant content. Small fruits like kiwis, clementines, peaches, plums, and the smaller apple varietals will be ideal as well, as they pack more nutrients into a smaller size. Bananas are an amazing source of important nutrients and can be your best friend on a low-fruit diet.
Eat More Veggies
The good news is that you can find a lot of vegetables that provide you with similar quantities of nutrients as you’d get from fruit. For example, pumpkin provides a lot of the Vitamin A you get from melons, and spinach has a good amount of the Vitamin C you’ve always gotten from oranges. Switching up your fruits for high-quality veggies can ensure you still get the nutrition you need without overdosing on sugar.