Best Fruits for Weight Loss?

June 14, 2012

fruitYou???ve likely heard the advice to eat more fruits and vegetables, but it???s important to know that when it comes to foods for weight loss, not all produce is created equal.

In general vegetables have less calories than fruit and so you should aim to eat more veggies and less fruit in your veggie-to-fruit ratio. I simply don???t agree with the weight loss advice that fruit should be considered an unlimited food.

When you do have fruit, be sure to pay attention to portion sizes and keep track of calories as they can add up depending on what type of fruit you choose.

One medium banana, for example, contains around 105 calories. So while bananas are a ???healthy??? food, and they are certainly a better snack than a prepackaged processed 100 calorie snack pack, too many can add up to too many calories.

In a similar way, one apple contains around 95 calories. One grapefruit weighs in at 100 calories. As you can see, these common fruits, while healthy, may not be the best fruit for weight loss.

One cup of watermelon, on the other hand, contains just 46 calories. Because of this, watermelon (and all types of melon) make a better fruit pick for someone watching his or her weight. Melon also contains a lot of bulk in the form of water and fiber, so it tends to be a very satisfying and filling food as well.

Berries are another fruit I recommend because they are both highly nutritious and satisfying. However it is worth keeping in mind that some berries have more calories than others. One cup of fresh strawberries contains 49 calories, one cup of raspberries contains 64 calories, and one cup of blueberries contains 83 calories.

And finally the one form of fruit I never recommend for weight loss is fruit juice. Many so-called ???fruit juices??? are really little more than artificial coloring and high fructose corn syrup. Even ???100% fruit juice??? should be avoided, because it is high in calories.

For example, I would much rather have someone eat an orange (which contains about 62 calories) than to have one cup of orange juice (at 112 calories). Not only does the juice have more calories, it also contains none of the satisfying fiber contained in a whole orange.

Compare all of the above numbers to the 5 calories per cup of romaine lettuce, 19 calories per cup in celery, or the 35 calories per cup in broccoli and it???s clear that veggies provide more bulk per calorie than fruit.

But beware – there are exceptions to this rule, too. For example, carrots have 52 calories per cup, potatoes have 67 calories per cup, corn has 132 calories per cup, and avocados have a whopping 240 calories per cup!

In short, while fruit is a healthy choice, it can contain a surprising number of calories. And those calories can add up. So like all the food in your daily diet, be sure to keep track of how much fruit you eat and aim to keep it in moderation.

Dr. Michael Kaplan

Founder and Chief Medical Officer

The Center for Medical Weight Loss


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