Did you know that the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study, determined that the leading cause of both death and disability in the US was diet, followed by smoking?
And what do you think the worst part of the diet is?
People not eating enough fruit.
I often hear people say that they avoid eating fruit at all costs when they’re trying to lose weight because of the high sugar content of fruit, and how it hampers their weight loss.
But is this really true, or are they putting weight on because they’re NOT eating fruit? Let’s take a look at Why You Should Eat Fruit Every Day to Lose Weight
Packed with Nutrients
Fruit contains a wealth of vitamins, minerals and hundreds of additional antioxidants, such as beta-carotene found in orange coloured fruits, (for more on beta-carotene go here), and lycopene, which is a red pigment that you can find in fruit such as water melon, and pink grapefruit.
You’ll also find fruit loaded with vitamin C, especially citrus fruits, vitamin E, you can find it in blueberries, mango, guava, papaya and peaches to name but a few, and selenium that’s found in strawberries, oranges, blueberries and mango.
Fruit and Weight Loss
There have been numerous studies to determine the effect eating fruit has on your ability to lose weight. One such study was published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
They found that people who eat whole fruits maintain a healthful weight. The researchers analysed 17 studies looking at fruit intake and the effects on long-term weight gain. People who added whole or dried fruit to their diets had a reduced risk for long-term weight gain.
Another study published in PLoS Medicine, found that adding more fruit to your diet will help you to manage your weight.
133,468 people were studied as part of the Nurses’ Health Study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and the Nurses’ Health Study II. Increased intake of high-fiber whole fruit including berries, citrus fruits and apples, resulted in more weight loss.
Researchers found that over four years, about a half a pound was lost per daily serving of fruit. Consumption of different categories of fruits resulted in more pounds lost per daily serving.
It seems that more healthful food choices, such as whole fruit lead you to feel full quicker with fewer calories ingested. So, if you skip fruit because you think it hampers your weight loss, you might actually be missing a trick.
Skipping fruit could lead you to put on more weight, because you’re not feeling full you end up eating more eating calorie dense food. Check out more on fibre here and how it can help you to lose weight.
Feeling Happier by Eating Fruit
But that’s not all. Eating fruit can also increase your feeling of happiness, and put you in a good mood, but importantly, you’re also more likely to resist temptation if you’re feeling happier, so if you’ve got a choice between M&Ms and grapes, you’re more likely to choose the grapes.
Plus, when people eat more fruit and vegetables they feel calmer, happier, and more energetic than normal, and they also felt more positive the next day.
Well, many fruits and veggies contain high levels of vitamin C as I’ve mentioned, and vitamin C helps in the production of … dopamine.
Dopamine affects your emotions, movements and your sensations of pleasure and pain. Antioxidants in fruits also help to reduce inflammation, which may lead to higher levels of well-being.
Worried About Eating Fruit If You Have Diabetes?
For a lot of people who have diabetes, they’re often told they can’t eat fruit because they are too sweet or contain sugar, but a study published in the British Medical Journal, found:
“Greater consumption of specific whole fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples, is significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, whereas greater consumption of fruit juice is associated with a higher risk.”
How Much Fruit Should You Eat?
The Harvard Health Letter states:
“The nutritional problems of fructose and sugar come when they are added to foods.
Fruit, on the other hand, is beneficial in almost any amount.”
What do they mean almost any amount? Can we eat 10 portions a day, or maybe 20 portions a day? A study found that when you eat 20 servings of whole fruit a day, there was no adverse effects for body weight, blood pressure, and insulin and lipid levels – fats in the blood after three to six months, in fact eating fruit can help you to lose weight and can help you to lower your LDL cholesterol, as well as your blood pressure.
What About Fruit Being Bad for Your Teeth?
Citrus fruits are acidic and eating lots of sour fruit can eat away at your enamel, so sucking on lemon wedges isn’t exactly great for your teeth.
But take heart, fruits and fruit juices aren’t as bad for your teeth as fizzy drinks/sodas. So if you’re worried about the effect that eating fruit and drinking fruit juices are having on your teeth, just brush your teeth teeth twice daily using fluoride toothpaste – just don’t brush right after you eat the fruit, wait at least 30 minutes, ideally an hour to be safe, as acid softens your enamel so if you brush your teeth straight after eating fruit you’re going to actually brush away your enamel!
You can also rinse with water after eating or drinking anything acidic.
How to Wash Your Fruit
To reduce your exposure to pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables you can either buy organic produce, or make a salt water solution. All you do is mix one-part salt and nine parts water. Just make sure you rinse of all the salt off before eating the fruit or veg!
What About Dried Fruit?
If you’ve heard that dried fruit is calorie dense, then you’re right, but interestingly when people ate dried fruit, there was no significant change in their weight.
Well it seems that just like whole fruit, dried fruit is still packed with fibre and satisfies you so you end up eating less of other foods throughout the day. It doesn’t matter if it’s figs, dates, dried applies or prunes.
In fact, according to Dr Greger:
“In general, the 5-10% of Americans that average a tablespoon or more of dried fruit a day tends to be less overweight, less obese, have a slimmer waist and less abdominal obesity.
They tended to eat more, but weighed less.
Similar findings were found for those that eat nuts and nut butters, lower body mass index, slimmer waist and significantly less overweight and obesity.”
How Many Pieces of Fruit Should You Eat Per Day?
Aim for three servings a day, that’s one small whole fruit, or half a cup of chopped fruit, unless you’re eating fruit to improve your mood, in that case go for 7.2 daily servings of fruit to notice a meaningful change.
Look Out For Wax on Fruit
Watch out for the wax on fruit and vegetables. This is often shellac, a resin from the secretions of the female lac insert and is used to give vegetables, and in particular fruit, it’s shiny coating. Shellac is classed as a food ingredient with E number 904, so if you see E904 or shellac, you to know to avoid it.
Wax is regularly used on apples, citrus fruits – oranges, lemons and limes, cucumbers, peppers, and aubergines/eggplants.
Rounding It All Up – Why You Should Eat Fruit Every Day to Lose Weight
So eating fruit is not only great for your general health, but if you want to lose weight, improve your mood, feel calmer, happier, and more energetic, you have to eat fruit.
Just remember to eat the whole fruit!
If losing weight for your summer holidays is one of your goals, then consider following a whole food, plant-based diet and you’ll not only be able to eat delicious meals and snacks, but you won’t need to count calories or monitor your portions!
Ready to get started? Be one of the first to hear about my new, whole food, plant based weight loss course coming in the next few weeks. Click here to register.
Let me know in the comments section below. Thank you!
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