In general, any whole fruit has the potential to be an effective food for weight loss. Fruits have low energy-dense levels, meaning their nutrient and fiber counts are high for a relatively large serving size with few calories. The fruits with the most fiber tend to be among the most nutritious and filling, and they are the natural choices for best weight loss foods.
High-fiber foods are associated with successful weight loss for a couple of reasons. For one, fibrous foods tend to be more filling. Dr. Melina Jampolis, physician nutrition specialist for CNN.com, wrote in a 2012 article that fiber slows the rate food empties from your stomach, which prevents a spike in blood sugar levels and eases hunger pangs. Go Ask Alice! at Columbia Health notes that fiber also has the potential to block some digestion of fat and protein, meaning that people who eat more fiber may actually absorb fewer calories than they consume.
Berries are among the highest fiber fruits and the best for weight loss. In a single 100-calorie serving, which is usually just over a cup, raspberries have 8 grams of fiber and blackberries have 7.6 grams. Apples, pears and strawberries all have about half that amount in the same serving size. Dried fruits such as figs and cherries typically have a lot of fiber as well, but their calorie counts per serving tend to be higher, and they almost always contain some added sugar.
If you’re watching your weight, try to keep your calorie count down at all meals and snacks while still eating foods that fill you up. Rather than pairing a handful of berries with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce, sprinkle the berries on top of a fresh salad that features other high-fiber foods such as avocado, sliced veggies and whole grain croutons. You can also eat fruits plain as an alternative to more calorie-rich desserts. If you’re preparing fruits yourself, keep the skin on – it’s where most of that filling fiber lies.
A Weight Loss Plan
Eating fiber-rich whole fruits is a good strategy for weight loss, but it’s only one part of a bigger plan. Fruits have about three times the typical calorie counts of vegetables, so it is possible to put on weight by going overboard with your serving sizes. To slim down and keep the weight off, work with your doctor or a registered dietitian to develop a well-balanced eating plan that features filling fruits along with other low-calorie, low energy-dense foods.