Fruits are naturally sweet, low in calories, yet full of nutrients that help in weight loss.
They are high in fibers, water, and volume. They also have chewing resistance that make you full faster and longer, keeping your hunger at bay.
Out of all nutrients, fiber, especially soluble fiber has many health benefits that also act as weight loss triggers.
It has been linked to reduced cholesterol levels, slowed absorption of carbohydrates, and increased satiety.
Soluble fiber's direct contribution to weight loss has even been proven by science (1).
But that's not to say all fruits are equally nutritious and weight loss friendly.
After all, "fruits" is an entire fruit group.
There are hundreds of different fruits with varying nutritional compositions.
They also have vast different effects on hunger, hormones and calorie expenditures.
If you want to maximize your weight loss, it make sense to eat fruits high in volume, fiber, and nutrients. And of course, by not packing in excess calories and sugar.
Here are the top 10 most friendly weight loss friendly fruits you can eat, that are supported by science.
I know what you’re thinking. Is avocado a fruit or vegetable?
Avocado is an unique type of fruit primarily consists of a healthy fat, rather than carbohydrates like most other fruits.
It’s the same heart healthy fat found in olive oil called monounsaturated oleic acid.
But it’s not just the healthy fat in avocados that makes it weight loss friendly. Avocados are incredibly nutritious containing more than 20 different vitamins and minerals.
One of them is fiber.
Fiber is well known for its contributions to blood sugar management, improving digestive health and weight loss benefits (4).
According to a study published in today’s Annals of internal Medicine, eating 30 grams of fiber a day can lead you to weight loss (7). This is almost equivalent to one serving of avocado a day.
Although there is no direct study on the effects of bananas on weight loss, bananas have several health properties that make them a weight loss friendly food.
For starters, bananas contain relatively few calories. One average size contains a little bit over 100 calories. For all the nutritional and weight loss benefits it brings, that's that many.
Bananas are rich in something called resistant starch.
It's a type of starch that is not digested in the stomach or small intestine, reaching the colon intact. Thus, it "resists" digestion. This also means you’ll not obtain significant calories from foods high in resistant starch.
The takeaway here is bananas are very weight loss friendly. They are low in calories, dense in nutrients and fiber, which may have appetite suppressing effects.
You've probably heard the saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away".
Apples are incredibly nutritious and filling.
Research shows they provide many health benefits, including reducing the risk of diabetes and some cancer (10).
But can eating apples also help you lose weight?
According to science, yes it does.
There are two properties of apples that make them very weight loss friendly.
Apples contain a high amount of dietary fiber and water.
Both've shown to help in calorie reduction and weight loss.
In one study, women who were instructed to eat about 300 grams of apples (10.6 ounces or 1.5 large apples) per day lost an average of 2.9 lbs (1.3kg) over a period of 12 weeks (11).
The takeaway here is apples can not only be a healthy ddition to your diet, but also help you lose weight, thanks to its dietary fiber and a high amoutn of water. Being low in energy density also promotes fullness after eating and contributes to weight loss.
Oranges are among the world’s most popular tasty fruits.
Yet, they are relatively low in both calories and fat.
Not only that, they have several health properties that make them good for weight loss.
Oranges are an excellent source of several important vitamins and minerals including fiber, vitamin C, thiamin, folate and antioxidants.
In particular, vitamin C contributes to weight loss. Studies have linked vitamin C to more efficient fat metabolism, which helps the body to burn more fat (12).
University of Arizona researchers presented a placebo-controlled, double-blind trial of 20 obese women and men. In their study, they saw improvements in their ability to oxidize fat following a low-fat diet with vitamin C supplementation. Conversely, highest body fat mass was seen in those with the lowest concentrations of vitamin C (13).
Tart and tangy with an underlying sweetness, grapefruit has juiciness that rivals ever popular oranges and sparkles with many of the same health promoting benefits.
Grapefruit is a "super fruit” and it deserves to be highlighted as one that you can eat for both weight loss and optimal health. And unlike other fruits, grapefruit's effects on weight control have been studied directly.
In one study, 91 obese individuals were split into 4 groups (14).
One group was given a placebo, one received grapefruit capsule, one had grape fruit juice, and the last group ate half a fresh grapefruit before meals.
The fresh grapefruit group lost the most weight about 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) over a period of 12 weeks.
The grapefruit juice drinkers came in second place, and the capsule consumers did better than the placebo takers.
In fact, on average, the placebo group saw a third the amount of weight loss compared to the fresh grapefruit group.
The grapefruit group also had reductions in insulin resistance, a metabolic abnormality that is implicated in various chronic diseases.
So it appears that eating half a grapefruit about 30 minutes before your meals on a daily basis may help you feel more satiated and eat fewer overall calories.
Papaya is a very healthy tropical fruit.
It contains a significant amount of fiber, vitamins A and C. It’s packed with antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and fight free radicals caused by oxidation.
Yet, papaya is relative low in calories and high in fiber.
In fact each cup of papaya contains 3 grams of fiber, 10% of the daily recommended value (15).
That makes papaya a perfect food for weight loss.
Papaya is also low in energy density or calories per gram. Studies have shown consuming foods that are low in density, such as papaya and other fruits on this list, allow you to fill up without consuming a lot of calories, making easier to lose weight (16, 17).
What’s also great about papaya is, it's not only delicious but it's incredibly versatile.
Papaya can be incorporated into your diet in many ways, but here are a few of favorite papaya recipes.
- Breakfast: Cut it in half and fill each half with Greek yogurt, then top with a few blueberries granola.
- Smoothie: Combine the diced fruit with almond milk, coconut flakes, and ice in a blender, then blend until smooth.
Pineapples are exceptionally nutritious and are among the world most popular tropical fruits.
They are a good source of many nutrients, including high amount of vitamin C, manganese, copper and folate.
1 cup of pineapple provides 131% of daily value for vitamin C and 76% of the recommended intake for manganese (18).
They are also the only source of the plant compound bromelain, which comes with many benefits.
That inlcudes enhanced immune function, cancer prevention, improve wound, and better gut health (19).
Ranked #1 in antioxidant activities, blueberries are one of the healthiest berries you can eat for your health (20).
Antioxidants help ward off free radicals.
High in fiber and low in calories, blueberries are also excellent for weight loss.
1 cup of blueberries only packs 85 calories and just 15 grams of sugar.
Blueberries make a sweet topping for your morning yogurt parfait or oatmeal.
I also like to add them to my smoothies and salads.
Strawberries are another fruit that is excellent for weight loss, they very high in water and low in carb.
In fact, there are only 12 grams of carbohydrate per cup. Of which 12% is fiber (21).
As we learned, fiber is an essential part of health weight loss and optimal health.
Strawberries score 40 in glycemic index, relatively low for a sweet food (22).
That’s great news for diabetics suffers trying to lose weight, since eating them won’t lead to big spikes on blood sugar.
Losing weight is not just about exercising or eating magical foods; it’s also about eating fewer calories than you burn.
At just about 86 calories per wedge, each wedge contains less than one gram of fat and is cholesterol-free (23).
Each wedge of watermelon also contains about 4 percent of the daily recommended intake for fiber, which slows digestion and promotes satiety.
Also much of watermelon is water, which helps prolong the feeling of fullness without adding calories or sugar.
You can quickly shed hundreds of calories off your daily intake by snacking on watermelon. if you cut just 500 calories from your diet, you’ll drop a pound per week, according to Harvard Health Publications.
There you have it. Again losing weight is not just eating few magical "fat burning particular foods". Instead, it is about eating less calories than you burn. These fruits are great foods that help you feel full for longer.