Fears of Fruit Flood Ill-Informed Diets
Controversy swirls around the question of whether people who are overweight should eat fruit. On the one hand, this food is regarded as the embodiment of health, unprocessed and rich in vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and other beneficial substances. But then there is the myth that, because fruit contains sugars, eating fruit will make you gain weight - or at least keep you from losing it.
The facts are totally in fruit's favor, and evidence demolishes any theoretical concerns about its sugar content. Eating fruit is effective for weight loss. Studies show that people who eat more fruit tend to be thinner and don't gain weight as readily.
The ridiculous myth that fruit should be avoided by dieters should not stop you from enjoying nature's bounty. Summer is an ideal time to eat all the fruit you want, and enjoy it. Popular choices such as peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries, grapes, melons, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, plums, pluots, kiwis, and many others fill stores and farmers markets.
High quality, peer reviewed studies, published in reputable nutrition and medical journals, generally combine the impact of fruits and vegetables in studies of weight loss. However, research that does focus on fruit is promising.
One analysis is an overview of 16 other studies of the effect of eating fruit on weight. Eleven of these found that eating more fruit is associated with significant reductions in weight or less risk of gaining pounds over time. None of the studies found that eating fruit leads to weight gain.
A 2010 study in the journal Nutrition investigated how fruit consumption impacted weight loss in 77 overweight and obese dieters. The researchers confirmed that participants who ate more fruit were significantly thinner than the others and lost more weight. Vegetables, amazingly, did not have this impact on body mass index.
Another study found that research participants who consume a whole apple before lunch eat significantly less during that meal. Their total calorie intake goes down, even when the energy in the apple is added in with the calories in the meal. The lucky participants who eat the apple also feel fuller - they do not suffer hunger pangs.
Why does fruit spur weight loss and help prevent weight gain?
Click here to learn more about why fruit is healthy and fears about its "sugar content" are so ill-founded