Advertisement

Eating Fruit Can Actually Help You Lose Weight. A Nutritionist Explains

From TIME - February 8, 2018

Heres some good news if you love berries, pears and apples: Ditching fruit isnt necessary to lose weight. Its also not smart. Yes, fruit contains carbs and naturally-occurring sugar. But there are important reasons to make fruit a daily staple in your diet, even when youre working to slim down. The key is to eat it strategically. Doing so can actually help you shed pounds.

Natural substances in fruitincluding vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and prebioticsare incredibly good for you, not just in terms of protecting against chronic diseases, but also for managing your weight. Even if you eat plenty of veggies, nixing fruit means missing out on the unique antioxidants they provide.

In research, fruit has actually been tied to weight loss, not weight gain. One study found that overweight and obese adults who ate more fruit experienced greater weight loss than those who didnt. Another study, which followed more than 130,000 adults over 24 years, found that consuming fruit was associated with improved weight loss over time.

This link may be because fruit can help boost satiety, satisfy a sweet craving and decrease your desire to dig into goodies like candy or baked goods. Fruits also tend to replace higher-calorie treats, whereas veggies tend to be add-ons. In other words, youre much more likely to choose an apple rather than a piece of broccoli in place of a cookie; that swap can help you limit total calories and avoid added sugar, the real culprit when it comes to weight gain.

As for sugar, even the strictest guidelines from groups like the American Heart Association and World Health Organization dont lump the sugar from fresh, whole fruit in with added sugar, the refined type used to sweeten foods (think almond milk, or the spoonful you add to your morning coffee).

Thats because the naturally-occurring sugar in fruit is much less concentrated, and bundled with water and a number of key nutrients. For example, one whole orange provides about 17 grams of carbs, about 12 of which are natural sugar. But it also supplies fluid, 12% of your daily fiber needs, and nearly 100% the recommended amount of vitamin C, along with B vitamins, potassium, and substances like hesperidin, which has been shown to help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation.

Compare that to one tablespoon of table sugar, which contains 16 grams of carbs and no nutrients. Essentially, whole, fresh fruit and added sugar dont belong in the same category.

Advertisement

Continue reading at TIME »