Fruit is such a refreshing treat on a summer day—or any day, really. For many people, it’s not just part of eating healthy; incorporating more fruit into their diet is used specifically for the goal of weight loss. Replacing unhealthy junk food snacks with fruit for better health is a terrific step towards improving one’s overall health, and while all fruit is basically good for you, there are some things to consider if incorporating fruit into your diet is specifically due to a desire to lose some pounds.
First, the good news: fruit provides a significant dose of fiber which slows digestion and can make you feel fuller. Fresh fruit is generally loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and tastes good in a variety of ways—smoothies, salads or just as they are. “Eat more fruits and vegetables” is a common piece of advice, and the sweetness of fruit sometimes over-rules choosing a completely vegetable-based diet simply for the enjoyment factor.
It is important to remember, though, that fruit is not calorie (or even always fat) free. It is high in the simple sugar fructose, which can hinder weight loss if overconsumed. According to Shape magazine, fructose is only processed by the liver, versus other simple sugars that are sent to your muscles, brain and other organs.
To find the best way to choose which fruits will aid in weight loss, you need to look at the sugar content. The amount of sugar in each fruit is different, making certain fruits not the best for weight loss if they are among the higher fructose content choices. When we asked Dr. Shaun Kennedy, an ND at SCNM and a specialist in digestive disorders and autoimmune disease about which fruits to steer clear from when dieting, he had this to say, “If you’re trying to lose weight it would be best to avoid fruits that are high in sugar like grapes, bananas, and pineapples. In general, try to stick with fruits that are lower in sugar but still have significant benefits like blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. If you’re looking to limit your sugar intake it would be even better to start with cutting down on refined carbohydrates, which are typically low in nutritional value and high in sugar.”
More great advice we gathered was to try cutting starchy carbohydrates from your diet first, since they convert into sugar in the body easily. Don’t attempt to switch everything up at once either. Start gradually when you are removing unhealthy choices and replacing them with healthy alternatives. When you’re ready for some of the best fruits to incorporate, go for berries, kiwis, clementines, plums, peaches and small apples.
Now go search those farmers markets and fresh produce aisles and enjoy adding more fruit to your life.