Firstly, we need to acknowledge that whole fruit is a nutrient-dense food which means it's low in calories but very high in vitamins and minerals and fiber. One large orange can meet 163% of your daily needs for vitamin C which is an essential component of immune health. Now, one small apple contains just 77 calories yet provides nearly four grams of fiber which is up to 16% of the amount you need for the day.
Using low-calorie foods like fruit to replace high-calorie foods can help create a calorie deficit which is necessary for weight loss. So, for example, choosing a whole fruit as a snack instead of potato chips or cookies or candy will lower your calorie intake and promote weight loss. Fruit can keep you feeling full. In addition to being low in calories, fruit is also incredibly filling because of it's fiber and water content.
Fiber moves through your body slowly and increases digestion time which leads to a feeling of fullness which of course can reduce appetite and food intake. In this study, eating a high-fiber meal reduced appetite, food intake, and blood sugar in healthy men. A lot of other research has shown the same thing. And like I said before, fruit has a high water content. This allows you to eat a large volume of it and feel full without taking in many calories, much like soup.
Fruit Intake Is Associated With Weight Loss
Many studies have found a strong and consistent link between increased fruit intake and weight loss, not weight gain. One massive studied followed over 130,000 adults over a 24 year span and found that fruit intake was associated with a greater weight loss over time. Apples and berries seem to have the greatest effect on weight.
Another small study found that obese and overweight dieters who increased their fruit intake experienced greater weight loss. Now keep in mind that those studies showed an associate or a link between fruit intake and weight loss. It doesn't necessarily mean that one caused the other but it's pretty clear that, on average, those who eat more fruit tend to weigh less.
Fruit Contains Natural Sugars
The natural sugars found in whole fruit are different than the added sugars typically found in processed foods. The two types can have very different health effects. Added sugar has been associated with a range of potential health problems including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
The most common types of added sugar are two simple sugars called glucose and fructose. Sweeteners like table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup use a combination of both types. Fruits contain fructose, so many people looking to eat less sugar mistakenly believe that they need to eliminate fruit from their diet.
However, it's important to distinguish between the massive amounts of fructose in added sugars and the amount of fructose found in whole fruit. Fructose is only harmful in large amounts and it's extremely difficult to eat enough whole fruit to reach these amounts. Therefore, the minor amounts of fructose found in fruit are not an issue for the majority of people when it comes to health or weight loss.
Ultimately, whole fruit is incredibly nutrient dense. It has a lot of water and fiber and with very few calories making it a really good option if you wanna lose weight but remember that fruit is just one piece of the puzzle. You need to eat it along with an overall healthy diet and regular physical activity if you wanna achieve and maintain long-lasting weight loss.
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