How to Make Fruit Your Weight-Loss Friend

a nice ripe strawberry

Nutritional Superstars

Look, friends, all whole fruits are nutritional Superstars. They glitter with just about all the nutritional bling you could every want: cholesterol free, almost fat free, dripping with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, many of which are decked out in vibrant reds, regal blues and purples, outrageous oranges and mellow yellows…So what more could you ask for?

Weight loss.

The numbers game

Losing weight is a numbers game. You’ve gotta’ take in less calories than you burn. And everyone knows that you want to do that while still eating the same amount of food and not counting calories, right? I mean calorie counting and skimpy portions went out with smoking cigarettes!

Fruit may be a nutritional Superstar, but fruit is sweet, and sugar has calories, so how can you eat fruit and still lose weight?

Focus on the lower calorie fruits

If you want to fill your plate and still lose weight, concentrate on these fruits:

  1. Unsweetened fresh or frozen berries like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries
  2. Fruits with pits and cores like apples, pears, peaches, nectarines and plums
  3. Citrus fruit like oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, lemons and limes

An added bonus: these fruits are also are the best for those with diabetes.

A picture’s worth a thousand words

So a couple pictures are worth 2000 words, so check out these comparisons:

Nutritional Comparison of Select Fruits
  Mango, medium Banana, medium, 7" – 7-7/8" Blueberries, 1 cup Apple, medium, 3” diam Orange, medium, 2-5/8” diam
Calories 202 105 84 95 62
Protein, grams 3 1 1 1 1
Total fat, grams 1 0.4 1 0.3 0.2
Sugar, grams 46 14 15 19 12
- teaspoons 11 3 3 ½ 4.5 3
Fiber, grams 5 3 4 4 3
Calcium, mg 37 6 9 11 52
Iron, mg 1 0.3 0.4 0.2 0.1
Magnesium, mg 34 32 9 9 13
Potassium, mg 564 422 114 195 237
Sodium, mg 3 1 1 2 0
Vitamin C, mg 122 10 14 8 70
Niacin, mg 2 1 1 0.2 0.4
Folic acid, mcg 144 24 9 5 39
Beta-carotene, IU 3636 76 80 98 295
Vitamin E, mg 3 0.1 1 0.3 0.2

What about all the other fruits?

They’re all glittering nutritional Superstars too, but if weight loss is your goal, you might want to concentrate on the lower calorie fruits and only eat small portions of the others when you eat them.


Diana Fleming

Diana Fleming, PhD, LDN, is a co-author of The Full Plate Diet and Nutritionist for Full Plate Living. She received her doctoral degree from Tufts University and has since dedicated her time to translating complicated nutritional data into easy and fun concepts anyone can apply at their next meal. In her spare time, she has painstakingly perfected the ultimate healthy AND delicious chocolate chip cookie.

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