Should you eat fruit when you're trying to lose weight?

Should you eat fruit when you're trying to lose weight?

At its simplest, weight loss comes down to consuming fewer calories than you use on daily basis. One of the biggest keys to losing weight is taking a healthy and balanced approach to your diet. But it can be confusing when it comes to picking healthy foods and knowing how much you can eat while trying to lose weight.

Take fruit, for example, which contains natural sugar. Since it is relatively low in calories and fat in comparison to other foods, fruit can be a nutritious part of your daily diet when you are trying to lose weight. But that doesn't mean you can eat all the fruit you want and expect to lose weight. Again, the key is an educated, healthy and balanced approach to weight loss or maintenance.

There are several advantages to consuming fruit as part of a weight loss regimen, including its low energy density properties (low calorie count per recommended serving) and abundance of essential vitamins and minerals. Eating fruit can help you to feel full on fewer calories without overeating. Fruit is also rich in fiber, which aids the digestive process, helps eliminate waste and toxins from the body and promotes good colon health.

Fruit in its natural form is lower in energy density and sugar than fruits that are dried, processed or refined. When incorporating fruit into a healthy diet, opt for fresh fruit whenever possible. Dried fruits have lower water content and juicing removes fiber, both of which make fruit more energy-dense. Canned and frozen fruits often have added sugar as well as more fat and sodium.

Since energy-dense foods are high in calories, replacing them with a variety of fruit makes sense when trying to lose weight. Instead of a full bowl of yogurt or cereal, lighten up on the portion and add in some fresh fruit for a breakfast or snack that is satisfying, healthy and nutritious. However, consuming copious amounts of dried apricots, canned peaches or processed orange juice loaded with sugar will effectively negate many of those fruits' health benefits.

Most experts recommend eating three servings of fruit per day as part of a healthy weight loss or maintenance regimen. Those portions should come from either fresh or frozen fruit because they are lowest in energy density. If you do include frozen fruit, opt for brands that do not contain added sugar.

As with most things, there is such a thing as "too much," and fruit is no exception to that rule. Following the USDA food pyramid guidelines for daily servings and portion sizes as part of an overall nutritionally balanced diet—in combination with regular physical activity—is the real, consistent key to healthy weight loss.

Posted: 3/26/2015 by Goshen Health
Filed under: diet, food, fruit, healthy, loss, pyramid, Weight

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