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The 15 Best Fruits for Weight Loss, According to a Dietitian – TODAY

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Despite containing carbs and natural sugars, research consistently shows that fruit can be beneficial for maintaining a healthy body weight.

For one thing, the fiber and water in fruit can prolong satiety, so you may feel fuller for a longer period after eating fruit. If that helps you eat less and reduce your calorie intake, it can promote weight loss.

Fruit is also low in calories, and if you eat it instead of a higher-calorie snack, it can help put you in a calorie deficit that can help with weight loss.

Other factors may also be at play. For instance, the fiber and antioxidants in fruit may alter your gut microbiome in a way that protects against weight gain, and some of the nutrients in fruit may be protective against obesity.

What is the number 1 fruit for weight loss?

Apples take the prize for the number one fruit for weight loss for many reasons. A large apple has 5 grams of fiber, which is a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber. Both types are needed for health, but soluble fiber helps regulate your appetite by delaying gastric emptying, which keeps you fuller for longer. This could help you eat less and, therefore, lose weight.

Because of their crunch, apples take longer to chew than some other fruits, and chewing for longer has been shown to increase satiety. Apples also draw water into your colon, which has been found to reduce appetite and the desire to eat later in the day.

Plus, a 2015 study found that apple eaters were 30% less likely to be obese compared to apple skippers.

Best fruits for weight loss

Fruit is one of the best things you can eat if you’re trying to lose weight (and even if you aren’t). While we encourage fruit in general, science says the following varieties may be the best fruits for weight loss.

Blueberries

Among a class of antioxidants known as flavanols, anthocyanins prevalent in blueberries were associated with the least weight gain over time. Plus, among female twins (who have the same genetic makeup), the one who ate more blueberries was leaner than the one who ate less. 

Watermelon

Watermelon may make it easier to fill up and lose weight, according to one study. Compared to a cookie snack, daily watermelon eaters reported less hunger, greater fullness and a reduced desire to eat during the day, and they also lost significantly more weight than the cookie eaters, despite both snacks having the same number of calories.

Avocado

Fat-filled avocados are technically a fruit, and while it may be counterintuitive that a high-fat food can help with weight loss, there’s evidence that avocado eaters gain less weight over time. A 2013 study found that adding ½ avocado to lunch boosted satiety and decreased the desire to eat by 28% over the next five hours compared to a meal that lacked avocados, suggesting that avocados may help you eat less and lose weight.

Cherries

Not only do the fiber and polyphenols in cherries lower risk factors associated with obesity, but cherries may help you lose weight due to their role in promoting better sleep. Research has consistently shown that regularly getting less than seven hours of sleep per night boosts the risk of obesity. Poor sleep can alter your appetite-regulating hormones, making you hungrier and making it harder to fill up on a meal that might have been satisfying had you gotten enough rest. Insufficient sleep is also associated with more frequent food cravings. Also, who wants to exercise when they’re sleep deprived? Both tart and sweet cherries are associated with sleep improvements that may help you lose weight.

Kiwi

A couple of kiwis before bedtime has been shown to improve sleep quality, reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and increase sleep time by 13%. That’s more than 45 extra minutes if you’re already sleeping six hours a night! And those extra zzz’s might make it easier for you to lose weight. Something besides sleep may give kiwis an edge because a six-week study found that eating two kiwis per day resulted in significantly less body fat among overweight and obese young adults at the end of the study.

Grapefruit

If you’re old enough to remember the grapefruit diet, you won’t be surprised to see this on our list of the best fruits for weight loss. And with good reason: Research from 2006 suggests that eating half a grapefruit before a meal resulted in significant weight loss. Another study found that grapefruit consumption was associated with lower body weight, BMI and waist measurements.

Mango

Don’t sleep on mangos just because they’re naturally sweet. A study comparing mango eaters to non-eaters found that regularly consuming mangos was associated with lower body weight, BMI and waist measurements among men. Mangos were also linked to better diet quality, with higher levels of several nutrients, including fiber, a weight-loss helper, and vitamin C. People who are overweight or obese likely need more vitamin C than the current recommendations indicate.

Raspberries

Polyphenol-rich raspberries are also loaded with fiber (5 grams per half cup). The fiber in raspberries helps promote fullness, making raspberries an excellent addition to your weight-loss diet. Fiber also helps promote gut microbial diversity, which may be helpful in preventing obesity.

Oranges

Oranges contain almost a day’s worth of vitamin C, which may help support weight-loss potential. One study found that significantly higher vitamin C intakes were associated with lower BMI, weight and waist circumference, as well as lower risk of being overweight or obese. Oranges also pack about 2 grams of soluble fiber–the type associated with improvements in body weight and fat. 

Bananas

Bananas are often maligned because nearly 95% of their calories come from carbs. But before you freak out over carbs, consider that less ripe (greener) bananas are rich in a type of carb called resistant starch. Resistant starch can help you feel fuller after meals, which make it easier to stay within your calorie needs. Plus, these starches produce a metabolite in the colon, which your body turns into energy. They also have prebiotic activity, promoting a healthy gut microbiome, which is involved in regulating body weight.

Pears

Much of the nearly 6 grams of fiber in pears is the soluble kind, which has been shown to help you feel fuller, eat less and promote weight loss. Plus, a 12-week study found that the inclusion of two pears a day (compared to pear juice) led to significantly lower waist measurements at the end of the study.

Pomegranates

A half cup of pomegranate seeds have nearly 4 grams of hunger-fighting fiber. Pomegranates are also rich in polyphenol antioxidants, which may be especially helpful when trying to lose weight. Researchers believe these plant compounds may help fight obesity, perhaps because of their role in gut health or their ability to promote fat breakdown.

Blackberries

Not only are they rich in fiber, which can promote fullness, but blackberries may help your body break down fat, so it can be used as energy. This is beneficial when trying to lose weight, and may also help prevent weight gain over time.

Dates

Don’t ignore dates just because they taste super sweet and are categorized as dried fruit. They can still be part of your weight loss plan. For one thing, you can substitute naturally-sweet dates for a higher-calorie, less healthy processed sweet, which might help you feel more satisfied, reduce your overall calories and lose weight. Plus, dates have a low glycemic index, a measure of the blood-sugar-raising potential of foods. Some evidence suggests a low GI diet may reduce body fat deposition, increase fat breakdown, and help manage body weight.

Can eating too much fruit cause weight gain?

Most people eat too little fruit, so too much fruit is not a big concern. Plus, no single food can cause weight gain; it’s the overall quality of your diet and whether you’re eating within your body’s individual needs that matters. Going above your body’s calorie requirements is what causes weight gain, however there are many factors, including genetics and food availability, that contribute to body weight.

Fruits to avoid for weight loss

Most of the evidence supports fruit’s role in weight loss. However, fruit comes in many forms, including dried fruit and 100% juice. Dried fruit has a smaller portion size than fresh or frozen fruit because the water has been removed. That may make it easier to overeat. A healthy portion of dried fruit is ¼ cup, which equates to ½ cup of fresh fruit.

100% fruit juice can contribute meaningful nutrients to your diet, but since it lacks fiber, it’s also easy to overdo. A 2024 analysis found that drinking more than a glass of juice a day was associated with a small increase in weight. A serving of juice is a small 8-ounce glass, and for young kids, the serving size is even less.

Is a fruit detox a safe way to lose weight?

This is a hard no. Your body has its own self-cleaning mechanisms, so a detox is not only unsafe but unnecessary. Plus, a fruit detox is too restrictive, lacks the nutrients your body needs to preserve fat-burning muscle, and isn’t sustainable.

The best way to lose weight is to eat mostly whole, plant foods instead of heavily processed foods. Include half a plate of fiber-rich, non-starchy veggies at meals and divide the rest of your plate between whole food carbs and protein. Fruit counts as a whole food carbohydrate, as do whole grains, starchy veggies and beans.

Getting the recommended amount of sleep and physical activity can also help you manage your weight. However, obesity is a complicated disease, and some people need medical treatments in addition to lifestyle measures.

 

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