The Best & Worst Fruit for Weight Loss
When setting yourself any weight loss goal, there are a number of factors to bear in mind as well as your fitness regime. Exercising correctly will help massively towards shedding unwanted fat but it will all be for nothing if you’re not eating healthily.
Health experts agree that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is the way forward for weight loss. Not only does fruit contain fewer calories and sugar than sweet treats, but it comes with a host of vitamins, which can increase your energy, cognition and general health. But like all food types, some are better than others.
The following is a comprehensive list of the best and worst fruits to eat for weight loss. Remember though, just because a fruit appears in our ‘worst’ list doesn’t mean that you should eliminate it from your diet. Their high sugar content makes them a delicious yet less ideal option for weight loss compared to the ‘best’ fruits. Unlike sugary snacks however, the ‘worst’ fruits have a host of health benefits, some of which are discussed below.
Worst Fruit for Weight Loss
Bananas are a great replacement for a pre-workout energy bar which is why you often see professional tennis players snacking on them in between games. Bananas are filled with fibre and potassium, the former helping digestive health and the latter functioning as an electrolyte. However, with 14 grams of sugar in a medium sized banana, it may not be the best option when cutting weight.
Mangos are one of the most commonly consumed fruits in the world. They are high in vitamins A and C, making them great for healthy skin and hair. They also have anti-ageing qualities and have been proven to lower the chances of breast and colon cancer. Their sugar content is very high though, reaching nearly 31g per mango. Fortunately, mangos are quite large so you can slice or share to lower your sugar intake.
Grapes are an easy and tasty snack. Their skins contain antioxidants such as quercetin and resveratrol, both of which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart problems. These antioxidants also combat low-density lipoprotein or ‘bad’ cholesterol and are great for those looking to lose weight and lower cholesterol. One cup of grapes, however, can contain up to 15g of sugar so they are best used sparingly.
Pomegranates contain many of the vitamins found in mangos and can therefore reduce the risk of heart problems. Various studies have been done into the pomegranate’s impact on physical performance. One such study, found that consumption before exercise can increase performance in athletes. But consider that one pomegranate contains up to 39g of sugar so, to get the most from the fruit, eat one prior to a workout.
Apples have a number of health benefits that make them ideal for weight loss if used in moderation. Their high fibre and water content makes them a filling fruit and popular snack. However, a medium sized apple has a surprisingly high sugar content of 19g, making it the final inclusion of the ‘worst’ fruits for weight loss.
Best Fruit for Weight Loss
Blueberries are known as a superfood due to the long list of health benefits associated with them. They are one of the richest fruits for antioxidants and as a result have anti-aging and anti-cancer qualities. Blueberries are also amazing for physical performance. They help dilate blood vessels, allowing oxygen to travel through the body more efficiently, and also reduce muscle fatigue after a workout.
While watermelons are high in sugar, it’s very unlikely you’d eat a full one due to its size. This fruit is 82% water and the benefits of being well hydrated should not be overlooked. Watermelon is great for weight loss as a result of this. As well, watermelon is a delicious, sweet snack and will satisfy cravings that may otherwise have been sated by chocolate or sweets.
Lemons are very low in sugar but high in vitamin C. They are recommended to reduce the risk of arthritis as well as heart problems. Although eating a whole lemon would be difficult, its zest or juice can be added to almost any meal to add flavour. Lemon water is also more filling than regular water due to the lemon’s high pectin fiber content, making it great for weight loss.
Guavas are a sort of nutritional cosmopolitan in that they contain a good mix of vitamins. They are high in vitamin A in particular which promotes eye health and can improve sight. Three ounces of guava only contains around 4.5g of sugar too, meaning you can enjoy a good portion before it would negatively affect your weight loss goals. Guava also helps the body maintain its metabolic rate and is a good source of copper, a deficiency that can cause thyroid hyperfunctions. This makes the fruit a good addition for those who experience weight gain as a result of thyroid problems.
Studies into grapefruit and weight loss make for interesting reading. One such experiment showed that grapefruit can significantly improve weight loss. Over a twelve week period, participants who ate three portions of fresh grapefruit per day lost 1.6kg whereas the control group, who were given placebos, lost only 0.3kg. It also contains many of the antioxidants mentioned above as well as lycopene, which is especially effective in reducing the risk of prostate cancer and the symptoms of common cancer treatments.
In conclusion, none of the fruits listed above are actually bad for you. Just because a fruit has a high sugar content doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Sugars found in fruit work differently for the body than added sugars in sweets, cakes and biscuits.
Fruit contains a molecule called fructose which drastically affects how the sugar is metabolised within the body. Because the sugar is encased in fibre, it is absorbed by the liver more slowly. Added (or processed) sugar, by contrast, is absorbed quicker than the body is naturally able to, which is why it is converted to fat.
This means you don’t have to worry too much about treating yourself to any of the ‘worst’ fruits for weight loss, as they are still great for your health and a fantastic alternative to anything containing processed sugar. But if you are keen to lose weight as quickly and efficiently as possible, focus on the ‘best’ fruits listed above.