We face an endless barrage of studies telling us not to eat this and not to drink that if we’re trying to lose weight. And there’s no shortage of self-proclaimed “experts” saying that dieters should avoid fruit altogether if they want to reduce the number on the scale. The ketogenic diet, in particular, eschews the natural sugars that most fruits contain.
Science doesn’t bear that out. Fruit absolutely can be a staple of your diet without compromising your weight loss goals. What’s most important for weight loss is your gut health, and foods like fruit can help you maintain a healthy gut.
Fruits Offer Rare Nutritional Benefits That May Facilitate Weight Loss (and Good Health in General)
Fruit haters often focus on one focal point: Sugar. What fruit critics often fail to recognize, though, are the nutritional benefits that you miss when you eliminate fruit from your diet.
Harvard Health explains that, like all foods, fruits vary in their nutrient density, sugar content, and potential benefits for those trying to lose weight. A piece of whole fruit, for example, generally has a far greater nutrient density, much less sugar, and more fiber to help with digestion than a cup of fruit juice. And certain fruits are more sugary than others.
There’s no denying the general benefits of eating fruit. Some of the nutrients that you’ll find in fruits include:
- Potassium, which helps you maintain healthy blood pressure (among other benefits)
- Iron, which contributes to healthy brain function and red blood cell production
- Vitamin C, which is essential for your immune system
- Vitamin A, which promotes cell growth and immune function
These are just a few examples of the natural boost that fruit can provide your body and mind. Rigorous studies have reinforced the benefits of fruit-derived nutrients at the individual level.
The journal Advances in Nutrition notes that many fruits have anti-inflammatory properties, a fact that should intrigue those looking to lose weight. The journal also notes that as much as half of your plate should be composed of fruits and vegetables at any given meal.
Specific Fruits You Should Keep in Your Summer Diet Plan
Let’s face it: Some fruits just go better with a sunny day at the beach, or a backyard barbecue, than others. Fruits with significant nutritional benefits that also pair well with summer are:
- Berries: Berries come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and are the delight of bears, birds, and humans alike. Healthline notes that blueberries in particular can help your body fight free radicals that contribute to various diseases.
- Watermelon: One of the most universally beloved fruits, watermelon has a high water content that provides a hydrating effect. Watermelon also provides fiber, among other nutritional benefits.
- Mango: This tropical delicacy has been shown to reduce heart disease risk factors, boost immune function, and deliver many other benefits—all within a delicious delivery mechanism.
Don’t hesitate to do your own research on the health benefits of your favorite fruits before summer rolls around.
Weight Loss Isn’t Just About Restriction. It’s About Nourishing Your Gut with Healthy Foods.
So many weight loss plans make the implicit assumption that you’re a glutton. In reality, an unhealthy gut microbiome, rather than your own habits, may be what’s been holding you back from your weight loss goals.Adding probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and tempeh to your diet and taking probiotic supplements can improve the bacterial flora in your gut. Read more about probiotics and their benefits here.
Fung, Teresa. “Are Certain Fruits Healthier than Others?” Harvard Health, January 31, 2022. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/are-certain-fruits-healthier-than-others-202201312677.
Slavin, Joanne L, and Beate Lloyd. “Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables.” Advances in Nutrition, vol. 3,4 506-16. Jul 1, 2012. https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/3/4/506/4591497.
“20 Healthy Fruits That Are Super Nutritious,” Healthline, n.d. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthy-fruit.