11 Best Fruits for Weight Loss, According to Nutritionists
If you’ve made the decision to lose weight for your health, adjusting your diet may be on the list of lifestyle changes you plan to make. With that, it’s natural to wonder what foods are best to load up on, including the best fruits for weight loss.
As you probably know, fruits are packed with vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber to support good gut health. They also tend to have a sweet taste to round out the flavor profile in your diet. Fruit is just one element of a balanced diet.
While some weight loss plans encourage followers to avoid fruit, many nutritionists disagree. “I’m not sure why and when fruit got a bad rap, but fruit is definitely part of a healthy diet and one that is focused on weight loss or weight management,” says Vanessa Rissetto, R.D., CEO and co-founder of Culina Health. “If there’s a fruit you enjoy, you should have it,” says Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., author of The Little Book of Game-Changers: 50 Healthy Habits For Managing Stress & Anxiety.
Just keep this in mind, per Rissetto: Fruit has natural sugars, so it’s best to pair it with a protein and/or a fat to avoid having a blood sugar spike and crash. A few examples: Have ½ cup of pineapple with 15 almonds or a cup of berries with ¼ cup of pistachios.
Meet the experts: Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., is the author of The Little Book of Game-Changers: 50 Healthy Habits For Managing Stress & Anxiety; Scott Keatley, R.D., is the co-owner of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy; Vanessa Rissetto, R.D., is the CEO and co-founder of Culina Health; Sonya Angelone, R.D., is a nutritionist and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
You’ve probably heard people suggest in the past that you substitute fruit for dessert when you’re trying to lose weight, but Cording doesn’t recommend trying this hack. “I get really annoyed when I hear people tell someone to satisfy a craving for sweets with fruit,” she says. “A piece of fruit is never going to be candy or chocolate.” Instead, she recommends focusing on the health benefits of these foods and doing your best to incorporate them into your meals, like having berries on top of Greek yogurt or making apple slices and nut butter your go-to snack. “Fruit is a wonderful, nutrient-dense food that’s healthy, but it doesn’t have to be a replacement for sweets,” she says.
Interested in incorporating fruit into your weight-loss eating plan? Nutritionists recommend keeping these fruits for weight loss in regular rotation.
Citrus fruits like oranges can be a great choice when you’re trying to lose weight, says Sonya Angelone, R.D., a nutritionist and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Having excess weight is linked with bodily inflammation, she points out. “Choose fruits that are rich in antioxidants, which are anti-inflammatory,” Angelone says. Oranges are high in the antioxidant vitamin C, as well as fiber, to help fill you up, she says.
Avocados are high in calories, but they can also help you feel full, Angelone says. Some research has also linked avocados to weight loss. One 12-week randomized controlled trial of 51 people with overweight or obesity found that people who ate a low-calorie diet that included an avocado a day had “significant” weight loss, along with the control group. They also had a drop in triglycerides, which are a type of fat that circulate in your blood.
Kiwis aren’t an overly common fruit in the U.S., but several experts recommend adding them to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight. These fruits are packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and fiber, Cording says.
Research has also linked kiwis with weight loss. One small study of 41 people with prediabetes had them eat two kiwis a day for 12 weeks. By the end of the study, the researchers found that kiwi-eaters had lowered blood pressure and lost over an inch in their waist circumference.
“Kiwi is really great for weight loss,” Cording says. “It also has an enzyme called actinidin which is great for digestion.”
Apples are packed with fiber to support good digestion and help you to feel fuller, longer, says Scott Keatley, R.D., co-owner of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. “They are also relatively low in calories and can be filling due to their high water content,” he says.
Pairing apples with nut butter can be a great snack, Cording says.
Like apples, pears are high in fiber, low in calories, and can be filling, Keatley says. They also are known for helping keep you regular thanks to their higher fructose and sorbitol content, Cording points out.
Grapefruit does well on its own or in salads—and it has perks to help support weight loss. It’s low in calories and high in water and fiber content, Keatley points out. “When eaten with greens, it can help unlock nutrients like iron,” he says.
#7 Pomegranate seeds
Pomegranate seeds have a lot going for them. A one-cup serving features an impressive 6 grams of fiber (22% of your daily recommended intake) and 25% of your recommended vitamin C intake. They also have a sweet and tarte taste and are perfect for elevating salads, Angelone says.
Strawberries are nutritional powerhouses. A one-cup serving gives you more than 3 grams of fiber, as well as 97.6 milligrams of vitamin C to tamp down on inflammation. Pair them with nuts, toss them into salads or sprinkle them over yogurt—this fruit is highly versatile.
Like strawberries, blueberries are a good source of fiber. They also offer plenty of vitamin C, vitamin A, and beta carotene to help lower inflammation in your body. “High in fiber and low in calories, blueberries can help you feel full longer,” Keatley says.
Watermelon has a high water content to help meet your hydration needs and help you to feel full, Cording points out. But it’s also a good source of vitamin C and fairly low in calories—a one-cup serving has just 46 calories. Pair it with nuts or toss it into salads or have it as a refreshing side with chicken or other lean meats.
Raspberries are packed with fiber—they have 8 grams per one-cup serving—and also serve as an impressive source of vitamin C. “Some of the most nutrient-dense fruits I recommend are berries,” Cording says. “They have tons of antioxidants and are great sources of fiber.” Like strawberries, raspberries pair well with a range of sweet and savory foods.
Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more. She has a master’s degree from American University, lives by the beach, and hopes to own a teacup pig and taco truck one day.