The Best Fruits for Weight Loss
Many fruits have potential health and weight loss benefits. Apples and pears have performed well in clinical trials, but the best effects are felt by increasing fruit consumption while also living a healthy lifestyle.
Medical professionals encourage eating fruit for weight loss, and there is a wealth of scientific data to support this. Fruits are believed to be natural antioxidants and high in fibre, which is helpful for the body’s general health. Some fruits have performed better in scientific studies than others – fruits such as apples and pears have performed well, while other fruits have not had the same success in clinical trials. Studies have found that a healthy lifestyle is the key to gaining weight loss benefits from fruits – dieters should replace unhealthy snacks with fruit rather than adding fruit to an already unhealthy diet.
Fruits for Weight Loss
For many years, it’s been argued by medical professionals that eating fruit and vegetables is beneficial to the body’s health. Often, in order to aid weight loss, dieters will look to fruit as a healthy alternative to sugary snacks that have been linked to weight gain.
Fruit is believed to be effective for aiding weight loss for several reasons. Firstly, fruit provides the body with large doses of Vitamin C and other important vitamins, without heavy doses of artificially processed sugar and fat. Many fruits are natural antioxidants, helping the body to recover from the negative effects of obesity while promoting general body health.
The primary benefit that fruit provides for weight loss dieters is fibre. Many fruits are high in fibre, which fills the stomach and reduces food cravings and feelings of hunger. Fruits are typically relatively low in calories compared with alternative sweet treats, which has led many dieters to prefer eating fruit over more processed snacks that contain artificially high levels of sweetener.
While not all fruits are equally beneficial to weight loss, there is some evidence in clinical trials to suggest that a diet that is high in fruit and vegetables will aid weight loss efforts. A study in 2014 conducted a systematic review of eight previous clinical trials into the effects of diet on weight loss. The review looked particularly at trials which had examined the effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on body weight. The study found that of 1026 total participants, the average weight loss over a 14 week period from increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables consumed was 0.68kg. The study concluded that there is a potential short term weight loss benefit to consuming more fruit and vegetables, however the study also conceded that more research into long term effects is required.
While fruit and vegetables in general may have health benefits, certain fruits have been held up by various experts and members of the weight loss community as being effective at aiding weight loss. Not all of these fruits have been clinically proven to provide the desired effects, though, so dieters should take care not to put too much faith in unproven fruit weight loss theories.
One common fruit that is often linked to weight loss is watermelon – as the name suggests, the fruit contains a high water content, meaning that while watermelon is high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and minerals such as potassium, it does not contain many calories (30 calories per 100g). Many dieters have therefore linked watermelon consumption to a reduction of waste lines. Watermelon is not necessarily a perfect solution to weight loss, however – it is important to bear in mind that, due to its high water content and relatively low fibre content, watermelon is not particularly filling, meaning that after consumption the user will likely remain hungry.
That said, there are health benefits associated with a moderate intake of watermelon. A study in 2015 looked at the antioxidant and antidiabetic effects of a high watermelon juice diet on diabetic rats. Rats were fed diets that induced diabetes, before a group of rats were moved to a high-watermelon juice diet to monitor the results. It was found that regular watermelon juice consumption significantly altered the rats’ blood sugar levels, suggesting that there may be some health benefits to watermelon juice. That said, the study also found that the group who had been given watermelon juice gained weight compared with the control group, suggesting that as a weight loss food, watermelon juice leaves something to be desired.
Garcinia cambogia is often held up by authorities on weight loss as a fruit which may speed up the user’s metabolism. The fruit, which is small and pumpkin-shaped, is native to Indonesia and is often used in local cooking, particularly in curries. Garcinia cambogia in pure form is difficult to obtain in the West, in spite of its popularity in weight loss supplements. Garcinia cambogia contains high quantities of hydroxycitric acid, which is believed to prevent the development of fat stores. Hydroxycitric acid is also linked to the release of serotonin in the brain, potentially helping the user to maintain a positive attitude and overcome feelings of hunger or tiredness from eating a reduced appetite.
While Garcinia cambogia is a popular ingredient in weight loss supplements, it has not provided overwhelmingly positive results from clinical trials. One study in 2010 attempted to review previous trials in order to determine the effects of the fruit on weight loss. In analysing the results from a variety of previous studies, it was determined that Garcinia cambogia may provide users with ‘short-term weight loss’, however the study concluded that these effects are likely to be slight, as the fruit has not proven to be hugely successful in providing notable weight loss for the participants of most studies.
Thanks to the support of some scientific voices, raspberries are very often linked with weight loss. Raspberries are said to increase the release of norepinephrine, which works similar to adrenaline in the blood by constricting blood vessels to raise the body’s blood pressure and speed up the heart. Because of this, raspberries are believed by some to speed up the user’s metabolism and alter the body’s blood sugar levels, helping the body to lose weight at a quicker rate.
Evidence in support of raspberries comes from a 2005 study into the effects of the fruit on mice. The mice were fed a high fat diet over the course of ten weeks, thus inducing obesity. The mice were then separated into groups, and began receiving portions of raspberries in their diet every day. Different groups were fed differently sized daily portions to monitor the effects of the fruit. At the end of another ten weeks, all mice began receiving the same high dosage of raspberries daily. It was found that the mice who had received higher doses of raspberries throughout the study suffered less from the negative effects of obesity – they had gained less weight since the start of the trial, and in instances where they had begun to show some negative symptoms of obesity such as fatty liver, they had begun to make progress in recovering from these conditions. The study concluded that raspberries provide significant benefits to weight loss. It is important to note that there is a lack of positive data from subsequent studies into humans.
One common fruit which is often tied to weight loss is the apple. There is evidence to suggest that apples improve many aspects of human health, with studies claiming that apples are useful in treating cancer and Alzheimer’s, among other diseases. This is purported to be in part due to the fact that apples are a natural antioxidant, helping the body to function healthily and fight diseases. In this case, it is often argued that dieters who choose to eat an apple rather than other sugary snacks are not only reducing the number of calories they consume, but also providing the body with a healthy food that helps to maintain general body health levels.
A 2003 study looked at the effects of daily apple consumption on weight loss in overweight women. 411 participants were asked to eat either three apples, pears or oat cookies each day. The study went on for twelve weeks, during which participants were regularly weighed and measured. It was found that the groups who had eaten either apples or pears daily during the study had lost an average of 1.22kg during the study, compared with the oat cookie group who had lost an average of 0.88kg. What’s more, participants who had regularly consumed apples or pears had a lower average blood sugar level, suggesting that weight loss and other elements of body health may be improved by consuming apples and pears regularly.
Balanced Fruit Consumption
Healthcare professionals do not recommend any one fruit for achieving the best possible weight loss effects. Fruit intake is one factor, alongside regular exercise and careful avoidance of overly fatty or sugary foods, which has been shown in clinical trials to aid weight loss and provide an improvement in general body health. One study in 2012 looked at the effects of a fruit and vegetable rich healthy lifestyle on weight loss. Participants were asked to record their daily body weight, their step count, their intake of fruit and vegetables and their water intake over the course of a twelve month study. The study found that all participants who regularly monitored their fruit and vegetable intake lost weight, suggesting that simply the act of striving to eat more fruit and vegetables makes a positive impact on the user’s diet and lifestyle.
Many healthcare professionals argue that the trick to achieving real, healthy, long term weight loss through fruit consumption does not come from eating one specific fruit, but from regular attempts to eat more of any fruit while limiting the consumption of sugary and fatty processed foods. For this reason, scientists have claimed that the fruits their patients eat are not as relevant as the effort they put into regularly consuming fruits and vegetables. The key is to replace other unhealthy foods with fruit, which provides health benefits rather than a high calorie content.
Fruits are considered by many healthcare professionals to be beneficial to the human body, in particular to weight loss. Many clinical studies have shown various fruits to be effective at aiding weight loss, particularly when consumed instead of less healthy snacks. Among the fruits that have performed best in clinical trials are apples, pears and raspberries, with watermelon potentially acting as a good antidiabetic aid. In spite of its popularity in weight loss supplements, Garcinia cambogia is not proven to significantly aid weight loss. Studies have found that the most effective method of losing weight is to live a healthy lifestyle, replacing unhealthy foods with fruit.
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