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Can Fruit Make You Thin? The Science Behind Dieting With Fruit

written by: BStone • edited by: Tania Cowling • updated: 8/7/2011

Even research supports eating lots of fruit to promote a healthy weight. Learn about the benefits of enjoying fresh fruit for weight loss.

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    Dieting with Fruit

    Fresh Peaches Lose weight by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, including lots of fresh fruit that makes you thin while also supplying the body with an invaluable dose of vitamins and minerals. You shouldn't go on a fruit-only diet to lose weight, but grabbing a peach or pear instead of a package of chips or cookies for a snack and enjoying a bowl of fresh berries or grapes for dessert instead of high-calorie sweets is going to help.

    In conjunction with a balanced, low-fat diet as well as regular exercise, fruit can give your weight loss plan that extra kick. As an added benefit fruit not only makes it easier to lose weight, but it is enjoyable to eat. Go for the sweet, juicy, intoxicating, low-calorie, nutrient-dense piece of fruit.

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    Why Fruit Works

    How can fruit help to make you thin? There are several characteristics of this food group that make it valuable for weight loss. Fruits tend to be high in both fiber and water. They are filling and satisfying, without a lot of calories. Like vegetables, fruits are low-energy-dense foods. You can eat lots of low energy density foods and still lose weight. Eating lots of fresh strawberries, cucumbers, apples and broccoli is not going to cause weight gain. Foods with a high energy density, such as meats, nuts and dairy products (not low-fat dairy products) still do have nutritional Watermelon Slices value, but they should only be consumed in moderation, such as a handful of nuts, a glass of milk and one serving of meat or poultry in a day.

    Other then creating a feeling of fullness due to water and fiber, thus curbing the desire to eat more than is necessary, fruit also helps because it is sweet. Eating plenty of fruit will curb your desire for cookies, muffins, chocolate and that extra spoonful of sugar in your coffee or tea. You may not crave a plum or slice of melon at first if you have a sweet-tooth, but if you start eating more fruit whenever you do think about an unhealthy sweet treat, over time you will no longer have the cravings for sugary, high-calorie foods.

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    Research on Fruit

    According to a study performed by the Department of Psychology at Utah State University, there is a relationship between fruit consumption and weight loss. The study involved 77 participants who were either overweight or obese. After six months of assessment, researchers found that eating fruit did contribute to lower body mass index. Eating more fruit showed a greater reduction in body weight.

    In another study that focused on helping people lose weight and improve blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial, discovered that an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption increased weight loss. As with the other study, participants who consumed the most fruits and vegetables experienced the greatest weight improvements.

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    Tips for Using Fruit for Healthy Weight Management

    Eating lots of fruit can help you reach and maintain your weight loss goals. Which fruit makes you thin? How much should be consumed? How should fruit be consumed?

    Most fruits have a low energy density. There are a few exceptions, such as avocados, which are high in fat. (Don't exclude avocados from your diet however as they are a great source of healthy omega oils, nutrients and fiber!) Grapefruit, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, pears, plums, mangos, apples, nectarines, grapes, papaya, pineapple, melons and bananas are all great food choices for healthy eating.

    Blueberries The CDC now recommends daily fruit and vegetable intake to reflect your overall nutritional needs based on age, gender and activity level. For example, a moderately active, thirty-year old woman should consume two cups of fruit per day. A twenty year-old male who is very active should consume two and one-half cups. Try to get two to four servings in a day, such as a banana at breakfast, an apple with lunch and freshly sliced mangos with lime juice for dessert. Make sure you are also consuming just as many, if not more, fresh vegetables throughout the day. Of course don't forget to include a daily helping of nuts and seeds, several servings of grains, some low-fat dairy products and lean proteins in your diet as well.

    To help with weight loss the best fruit you can eat is whole, fresh fruit. Canned or frozen fruit is still nutritious when fresh is not available, but be wary of fruit that is packaged with sweeteners or other ingredients. Dried fruit is definitely good for you, but it has a higher energy density. Some fruit juice is beneficial as well, but stay away from processed, high-sugar juices.

References

  • Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/NU00195)
    "Effects of fruit consumption on body mass index and weight loss in a sample of overweight and obese dieters enrolled in a weight-loss intervention trial." Nutrition, Jul-Aug 2010, US National Library of Medicine (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20022464)
    "Can eating fruits and vegetables help people to manage their weight?"  (www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/nutrition/pdf/rtp_practitioner_10_07.pdf)
    CDC (http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/)

     

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