Cutting Out Fruit Won't Help You Lose Weight
If you have ever tried to lose weight, odds are you have probably tried a low-carb diet. Going low-carb is pretty cut and dry: you eat all the proteins and fats you want, but carbs are off limits. Generally people are very successful at losing weight on these diets, at least for a period of time. But here’s the thing about ultra low-carb diets like Atkins or extreme Paleo: they tell you to cut out all fruit.
Why cut out fruit? Those following ultra low-carb diets are trying to stay in ketosis, a state in which the body burns fat as its primary fuel source because it has no easy carbs to burn. Fruit are a source of carbohydrates, as are grains and vegetables. Those trying to stay in ketosis will consume up to 80 percent of their diet in fats while keeping their carb intake to under 30 grams of carbohydrates a day (about 1 apple’s worth), which is dedicated to veggie consumption.
But that is an extreme diet. For most people who are trying to lose weight, cutting out fruit is entirely unnecessary and will only hinder weight loss. Ultra-low carb diets aren’t fun, and fruit has a lot of good to offer the body. First things first…
Fruit is not digested like other sugars.
Fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals, water content and fiber. It is nothing like bread, crackers or table sugar in terms of the digestion process. The high fiber content and rich nutrient levels slow the absorption of whole fruit sugars in the bloodstream, meaning it doesn’t garner that same insulin spike that other carbs and sugars do. Of course, some fruits are more sugary than others, so you are better off sticking with low-sugar varieties on the daily, like antioxidant-rich berries, and keeping sugar-rich tropical fruits as a treat when they are in-season.
Fruit is full of good stuff that can help you lose weight.
Research has shown that fruit is more likely to help you lose weight, not gain it. One study in particular showed that overweight and obese adults who ate more fruit lost more weight than those who didn’t. Another study, which followed 130,000 adults for over 2 decades, showed that higher fruit consumption was associated with an improvement in weight loss long term.
Why is fruit so effective for weight loss? Because fruit is loaded with good stuff like vitamins A, B and C, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and lots of fiber and water. It’s full of the stuff your body needs in order to function properly and effectively. Fruit consumption has also been shown to protect against heart disease, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and reduce overall inflammation.
Without fruit, you may be tempted to eat other, less nutritious foods.
When you are following such a strict diet, you’ll inevitably crack. Maybe not right away, but at some point all those sugar and carb cravings will build up and you’ll become a sweets black hole, gobbling up everything within your grasp! Dieting simply doesn’t work; lifestyle shifts do. A little but of fruit can go a long way towards quenching those sugar cravings you get during the day, week or month. Let’s be honest, there’s no way you would choose a piece of celery instead of a chocolate chip cookie. But some fresh strawberries with a dollop of coconut cream? Fruit is the more realistic option when it comes to beating those cravings for more processed sugars.
If you are trying to get rid of an insatiable sweet tooth or losing weight is a serious issue, your doctor may recommend cutting out fruit for a period of time. But for most of us, fruit is a nutritious part of our everyday diet. We all need to be eating more plant foods, not less of them.