Should Fruit be in your Food List when you Want to Lose Weight?

 

Fruits are healthy but when it comes to weight loss, all fruits are not created equal. The type of fruit you eat and the quantity plays a big role on how successful you will be in your weight loss goal.

Fruits are a source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like Vitamin C, potassium, Folate and MUFA. These nutrients not only help in fighting free radicals that pose a threat to your cells, they help in preventing the risk of various diseases including cardiovascular disease.

They are also a source of fiber which aids in weight loss by helping you feel full and give your digestive system a boost.

When it comes to weight loss the amount of calorie you consume matter and fruit is hardly calorie free.

For example:

A handful of blueberries contain 40 calories

A medium apple with skin contain 53 calories while a large apple contain 116 calories

One large mango contains 99 calories

One medium banana is 103 calories while 1 large banana contains 121 calories

As you can see from the four fruits above, they differ in the calorie that each contain. When you eat 2 medium apples you get 106 calories but eating 2 large apples will give you 232 calories

When you eat 2 medium bananas you get 212 calories. Compare that with 2 large bananas that contain 464 calories.

Fruits may not be harmful but when it comes to calories, it adds up. One of the things that affect weight gain and weight loss is the amount of calorie you consume in a day. Eating fruits as much as you like without checking the quantity, and adding up the calorie from other foods you have eaten for the day may have a negative effect on your weight loss goal.

Recommendation

It is generally recommended that you eat 400 grams of fruits a day. That is where the 5 serving of fruits a day comes from. When you divide 400 grams of fruit into 5 servings, it will give you 80 grams of fruits for each serving. This is also equivalent to I cup

cuppa fruit
These fruits all represent 1 serving or 1 cup of fruit

Here are examples of 1 serving of fruit (80 grams) or I cup of fruit

½ of an avocado

1 banana, 1 apple, I orange

1 large slice of water melon

1 slice of pineapple

According to choosemyplate.gov, the quantity of fruits you eat each day should depend on the level of your physical activity. Below is the recommended quantity of fruits for the people that are not physically active

DAILY FRUIT TABLE
DAILY RECOMMENDATION*
Children 2-3 years old

4-8 years old

1 cup

1 to 1 ½ cups

Girls 9-13 years old

14-18 years old

1 ½ cups

1 ½ cups

Boys 9-13 years old

14-18 years old

1 ½ cups

2 cups

Women 19-30 years old

31-50 years old

51+ years old

2 cups

1 ½ cups

1 ½ cups

Men 19-30 years old

31-50 years old

51+ years old

2 cups

2 cups

2 cups

Source – choosemyplate.gov

However, if you are more physically active you can increase your intake by adding 1 more cup or according to your calorie need.

fist-med-fruit
Your fist also represents 1 cup of fruit or a serving

Fruits come with a truckload of health benefits but if you are already obese, or you want to lose weight, you have to pay attention to the fruits you eat, the size and quantity, as this will eventually add up and could cause weight gain.

Another option is to go for the fruits with Low Glycemic Index (GI). Glycemic Index is a figure assigned to foods which represents how quickly or how slowly a particular food increases the level of glucose in the blood. Fruits like Apple, cherries, grapefruit, pear, orange and strawberries have low Glycemic index.

Low GI fruits are especially beneficial for people with diabetes.

High GI fruits like watermelon, ripe banana, mango and pineapple should be eaten in moderation.

banana
Banana is a high GI fruit

Fruits are a storehouse of nutrients but they also come with calories. For fruits to act as an aid in weight loss, moderation, choosing the right fruit size and quantity is the key.

Fruits should be part of your weight loss and management nutrition but remember these 3 letters: MCQ

M – Moderation

C – Choose the right fruit size

Q – Choose the right  quantity or serving size

 

Author: Nkeoma DND Agu

Nkeoma DND Agu is a certified personal and corporate fitness trainer. She is also a nutrition coach. She holds certification with one of the highest certifying bodies in fitness and wellness in the US, NESTA. She helps individuals and companies to achieve weight loss, fitness and wellness goals to become healthier and more productive.

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