Weight loss isn’t about restriction, but finding the foods that the body needs; one perfect example is fresh fruit.
“Fruit does have sugar, which may be a consideration for people with diabetes, but, in general, it’s a healthy way to get sweetness into your meal plan. In addition, many fruits bring a variety of vitamins, minerals and fiber to aid in digestion and keep you feeling full between meals,” said Joseph St. Pierre, DO, a medical weight loss specialist with Hartford HealthCare.
Pick the best
Based on nutritional profiles, Dr. St. Pierre said five of the best fruits for weight loss are:
- Apples. They are known to keep the doctor away for a reason! Apples give the crunch and juicy satisfaction of something far more decadent. With dozens of varieties to choose from, apples contain a ton of fiber to ward off feelings of hunger. You can eat one whole or add apple slices to a chicken or pork dish for dinner or atop a salad for lunch.
- Grapes. Small but mighty, these are quick and portable, plus their skin provides fiber that can keep insulin levels stable and help with weight loss. Try adding them to salads, freezing them or putting them with chicken on kabobs.
- Raspberries. Also loaded in fiber – one cup contains 36% of the recommended daily fiber intake – these berries give a sense of fullness. Add them to a smoothie, oatmeal or other cereal, or pair with low-fat ice cream for a sweet treat.
- Grapefruit. Containing more than 90% water, like watermelon, these citrus fruits are low in calories but studies show they have a key compound, naringin, which can help reduce blood sugar levels and boost weight loss. Dr. St. Pierre did caution people to check with their providers about grapefruit’s interaction with certain medications, but said the fruit can be added to a fruit salad, squeezed into water or tossed into a green salad.
- Oranges. This citrus is sweeter than grapefruit but is also helpful with weight loss. High in fiber and water, oranges will help you feel full and hit your body with a nice dose of vitamin C. They are delicious in salads, smoothies or squeezed as fresh juice.
“When meal planning, we tell patients to include fruits and vegetables at every meal because of their benefits for weight loss and overall health. They’re also great snacks, helping to keep people full between meals and giving that sweetness that helps us avoid candy and other sugary foods,” Dr. St. Pierre said.