Fruit is nature’s ready-made snack packed with vitamins, fiber, and other nutrients that support a healthy diet.
Fruit is also generally low in calories and high in fiber, which may help you lose weight.
In fact, eating fruit is linked to a lower body weight and a lower risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and heart disease.
Fruits and vegetables are extremely important in a weight loss diet as they help the body fight bad cholesterol and diseases, by providing it with essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Fruits are extremely nutrient-dense foods and are also high on fiber and water, helping the body to stay hydrated and satiated. Nutrition experts recommend a diet comprised of a greater percentage of organic and raw fruits, as well as vegetables, instead of whole grains and fats, for this very reason.
How does fruit help with weight loss?
Fruit may contribute to weight loss in several ways.
Fruit is high in fiber, which is the indigestible part of plants and carbohydrates.
Studies link higher intake of fiber with lower body weight. Fiber can keep people feeling satiated for longer, which may reduce the overall number of calories in a person’s diet.
Authors of a 2019 study report that, as a result of consuming dietary fiber, adults with obesity or overweight following a calorie restricted diet lost weight and stuck to dietary recommendations.
Calories and water content
Many fruits, such as berries and melons, have high water content. As a rich source of both fiber and water, fruits are a filling option that may help people feel full.
Low glycemic index
The glycemic index (GI) measures the effects food has on blood sugar levels.
Foods with a lower GI will cause slower blood sugar changes than foods with a high GI. Experts consider foods with a value lower than 55 to be low GI.
Research indicates that a calorie-controlled low GI diet may be more effective for weight loss than a high GI diet that is low in fat.
While most fruits have a low GI, tropical fruits, such as pineapple, mango, and watermelon, have a moderate or high GI. However, moderate to high GI fruits can still be a part of a healthy diet.
The natural sweetness of fruits may help curb sugar cravings. Choosing fruit instead of cookies or cakes will help a person consume fewer calories and less fat and added sugars while still allowing them to enjoy a sweet treat.
When people use fruit as a substitute for other sweet foods while following a balanced diet, they may experience weight loss.
Best fruits for weight loss
All fruits contain nutrients that play an important role in overall health. Studies have shown the following fruits may help with weight loss:
Grapefruit is a cross between a pomelo and an orange and is commonly associated with dieting and weight loss.
Half a grapefruit contains just 39 calories but provides 65% of the reference daily intake (RDI) for of vitamin C. Red varieties also provide 28% of the RDI for vitamin A What’s more, grapefruit has a low glycemic index (GI), which means it releases sugar into your bloodstream more slowly. A low-GI diet may aid weight loss and weight maintenance, though evidence is limited.
In a study in 85 obese people, eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice before meals for 12 weeks resulted in a decrease in calorie intake, a 7.1% decrease in body weight, and improved cholesterol levels.
Additionally, a recent review found that grapefruit consumption reduced body fat, waist circumference, and blood pressure compared to control groups.
While grapefruit can be eaten on its own, it also makes a great addition to salads and other dishes.
Half an avocado contains 120 calories and 5 g of fiber. It is also a good source of heart-healthy fatsTrusted Source, vitamin K, and folate.
Avocado may increase feelings of fullness and reduce appetite, which are factors that can support weight management efforts.
One study reports that regular avocado consumption may help people maintain a moderate weight. Study participants with a moderate weight at the beginning of the study gained significantly less weight after a period of 4–11 years than those who did not eat avocado regularly.
One banana contains 112 calories and 3.3 g of fiber. Bananas are also rich in potassium, which is essential for heart health.
Thanks to their sweet taste and high fiber content, bananas may contribute to the feeling of satiety and curb sugar cravings. They are also a highly portable healthy snack, and they are easy to consume on the go.
Stone fruits, also known as drupes, are a group of seasonal fruits with a fleshy exterior and a stone, or pit, on the inside. They include peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries, and apricots.
Stone fruits are low-GI, low-calorie, and rich in nutrients like vitamins C and A — which make them great for people trying to lose weight.
For example, one medium peach (150 grams) contains 58 calories, while 1 cup (130 grams) of cherries provides 87 calories, and two small plums (120 grams) or four apricots (140 grams) have just 60 calories.
Compared to unhealthy snack foods like chips or cookies, stone fruits are a more nutrient-dense, filling option.
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, which originates in South America, grows on a beautiful, flowering vine. It has a tough outer rind — purple or yellow in color — with an edible, pulpy seed mass inside.
One fruit (18 grams) contains just 17 calories and is a rich source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and potassium.
For such a small fruit, passion fruit holds ample dietary fiber. In fact, five of them give 42% of the RDI for fewer than 100 calories.
Fiber slows down your digestion, helping you feel fuller for longer and controlling your appetite.
Additionally, passion fruit seeds provide piceatannol, a substance linked to reductions in blood pressure and improved insulin sensitivity in overweight men. However, more research is needed.
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.
Rhubarb is actually a vegetable, but in Europe and North America, it is often prepared like a fruit.
While it has only 11 calories per stalk, it still packs almost 1 gram of fiber and almost 20% of the RDI for vitamin K.
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 — 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.
Kiwifruits are small, brown fruits with bright green or yellow flesh and tiny black seeds.
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 (3.1-cm) 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.
Kiwis have a low GI, so while they do contain sugar, it is released more slowly — resulting in smaller blood sugar spikes.
Furthermore, kiwis are rich in dietary fiber. One small, peeled fruit (69 grams) has over 2 grams of fiber, while the skin alone provides 1 extra gram of fiber.
Diets high in fiber from fruits and vegetables have been shown to promote weight loss, increase fullness and improve gut health.
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.
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Melons are low in calories and have a high water content, which makes them very weight loss friendly.
Just 1 cup (150—160 grams) of melon, such as honeydew or watermelon, provides a modest 46—61 calories.
Though low in calories, melons are rich in fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lycopene.
Moreover, consuming fruits with high water content may help you shed extra weight.
However, watermelon does have a high GI, so portion control is important.
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.
In fact, oranges are four times more filling than a croissant and twice as filling as a muesli bar.
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.
Therefore, if you are trying to lose weight, it may be better to eat oranges rather than drink orange juice. The fruit can be eaten alone or added to your favorite salad or dessert.
Risks of a fruit diet
Some people follow a fruitarian diet. Most people who eat this way will consume most of their calories from raw fruit, with a small number coming from vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
While people on this diet may get many important vitamins and minerals from fruit, they may not get sufficient quantities of other nutrients, such as:
- omega-3 fatty acids
- vitamin B12
- vitamin D
The Bottom Line
Fruit can be an excellent aid to reaching or maintaining a moderate weight. While all fruits provide health benefits, some may be better than others for contributing to satiety and keeping blood sugar levels stable.
People who wish to consume fruit to aid weight loss should do so as part of a balanced diet. Other factors, such as physical activity and adequate sleep, also play a role in weight management and overall health.