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What Are The Best Fruits For Weight Loss?

There’s much debate between the fat loss gurus regarding the role of fruit in a weight loss program. While we all know that the various treatment plans of cool sculpting can work wonders when it comes to weight loss, but Can fruits help really help lose weight with all that sugar in them?

Where do I stand on this debate?  I would make a case that fruit can play a very valuable role in a weight loss program and does not need to be completely eliminated. Some fruits will be better than others and there is such a thing as too much, more on that in a minute.

Just to be clear, my position is one where the foundation of any weight loss program should be centered on the health of the individual. If a fat loss strategy in question doesn’t support the long-term health of the individual, I view it as metabolic quick fix and not a lifestyle plan.

This isn’t to say there’s not a place for such strategies when “rapid” fat loss is the goal. But more frequently I’m consulting with clients who are looking to establish healthy eating habits for long-term weight loss, not dropping weight quick for a bodybuilding show, fight, etc.

Truth be told, the nutrition strategies will frequently change over time for overweight individuals. The reason is their needs change as their body changes.

The majority of overweight individuals will have some degree of insulin and leptin resistance along with adrenal weakness…

This is going to require a different nutrition approach compared to someone who has more stable hormonal balances.

The individuals who advocate pulling out ALL fruits typically cite the sugar content, especially fructose as being a problem. While the reduction of sugar is without question a necessary component, I haven’t found it to be advantageous to remove all fruit.

Processed sugar, refined foods, and grains are typically the culprits that resulted in weight gain in the first place.

“From a practical standpoint, I’ve yet to meet anyone in my twenty plus years of nutrition coaching that got fat from eating too many oranges for example.”

In order to reverse the insulin resistance problem the body must be conditioned to use fat as a substrate for fuel instead of sugar. No question, this is going to require a pretty significant reduction in carbohydrate intake.

I’ve found the best results with removing processed foods, grains, and starches, while still incorporating greens, vegetables, and moderate amounts of fruit.

Let’s address the fructose argument for a second…

While “high fructose corn syrup” and other unnatural variations of fructose should be completely eliminated, natural fructose from fruits can certainly be consumed in moderation. I have several reasons for this position. For starters, fructose isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be.

Fructose is a monosaccharide (single strand sugar) that is easily assimilated by the human body for energy. In fact, fructose is the highest energetic form of sugar. Nerve cells especially attract fructose molecules.

Fructose has the ability to be absorbed through a diffusion process in the gastrointestinal tract instead of active transport, which its counterpart glucose uses. What this means to you is there’s no insulin release needed to get it to the liver.

While glucose needs insulin to a certain degree as a utilization hormone, fructose on the other hand requires no ATP or insulin.

For overweight individuals who are pre-diabetic or diabetic, fructose can be valuable in moderate amounts, especially if they remove complex carbohydrates and processed sugars from their diets. The complex sugars are what really create the excessive glucose levels in the blood which leads to more insulin demand.

This is why I’m down more on starches, even the so called “healthy” whole grains for overweight individuals with insulin resistance. When refined or complex carbs are consumed the glucose overload results in excess carbon molecules. This excess carbon is converted into carbon dioxide and carbonic acid. While carbon dioxide is eliminated via the lungs and kidneys, carbonic acid must be neutralized and this process contributes to acidosis.

Remember, inflammation is behind a lot of the problems with insulin resistance, weakened adrenals, and other hormonal imbalances associated with being overweight.

What leads to inflammation? You guessed it, to a large degree acidosis.

The objective is to rejuvenate the cells and glands by creating a more alkaline state within the body. To do so you need to reduce the starches and refrain from heavy protein consumption. Raw fruits and vegetables are always the best sources of whole foods to help rejuvenate the cells, reduce inflammation, and heal from the inside out.

Having said all of that, can you consume too much fructose from fruit?

Well that sort of depends. If you’re going to go on a raw-vegan type diet of exclusively raw fruits and vegetables then the answer is probably no because you’ll be using the sugars for fuel in the absence of other substrates. For the majority of individuals this isn’t going to be the lifestyle diet of preference though.

However, even with a Primal Blueprint or Paleo type diet, you’ll want to keep your fructose consumption to around 20 grams or less per day if you’re trying to lose weight.

Why? Because excess fructose will be converted to triglycerides (fat).

It’s important that I’m clear this doesn’t mean 20 grams of carbohydrate total from fruit. Specifically, we’re addressing the fructose content. To give you an idea of the fructose content in fruit see the tables below.

If you are interested – check, where you can find some vitamins with fructose.

Based in part on the total fructose levels, total sugar content, and fiber content, here are my top fruit choices in a weight loss program.

Top 7 best fruits for weight loss…

In no particular order.

#1. Blueberries

#2. Blackberries

#3. Raspberries

#4. Strawberries

#5. Pineapple

#6. Grapefruit

#7. Cherries

As you can see from the tables dried fruits are the least favorable choices. In fact, I don’t recommend including dried fruits in the diet at all for the most part with individuals looking to lose weight.

You’ll also want to refrain from melons and other high sugar fruit during fat loss phases. Obviously, fruits juices are out as well due to the high sugar content. There is an exception for fresh fruit and green juices you make with your own juicer, but that’s another subject for another day.

Also just because you don’t see your favorite fruit listed in the top 7 doesn’t mean it’s not beneficial for weight loss. Remember, I’m picking my top 7. Would oranges and apples for example be valuable in weight loss program? Of course!

Could you get stop fat loss in its tracks by eating too much fruit in combination with other so called “healthy” whole grains and starches? Yes, absolutely!

Fruit in moderation in combination with lean proteins, greens, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats is the way to go.

The bottom line is I believe that fruit is one of the most healing foods you can provide your body. It contains life giving phytonutrients and antioxidants which are extremely valuable for overall health.

I just can’t see advising individuals to completely remove something from their diet that supports cellular rejuvenation, detoxification, and healing. In other words….HEALTH!

Long-term, healthy weight loss is about putting the body back in BALANCE. That’s the big picture. Of course exercise, stress management, rest and recovery all play a role in this as well.

Just don’t get sideways with this whole concept of a particular food being “healthy.” Losing weight is about conditioning your body to release stored fat. You can’t eat four or five oranges a day or large amounts of fruit in general (just because it’s “healthy”) and create a sugar overload in a state of insulin resistance. Your body will remain flooded with insulin and you’ll store fat. Your body has no other alternative.

The leaner you get and more balanced you become with insulin, leptin, and other hormones, the better you’ll be able to tolerate more fruit. Energy demands and rate of metabolism play a large factor in this as well. This is why leaner, more muscular and athletic individuals can incorporate more starches in their diet.

Best piece of advice I can give you if you’re overweight is this…

- Eliminate processed and refined foods.

- Eliminate sodas and soft drinks.

- Eliminate processed sugars and sweets.

- Alcohol in moderation or eliminate it from your diet for a while.

- Pull out the starches like potatoes, whole grains legumes, pasta, rice, etc.

- Consume mostly lean proteins, eggs, greens, vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, and whey protein.

- Consume dairy in moderation with the best choices being cottage cheese and Greek or natural unsweetened  yogurt.

- Consume fruits in moderation, a couple servings a day is suffice.

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Bottom line…don’t overcomplicate things or look to major in the minors. You’ll find controversy on just about any food in a weight loss program. In general if God made it eat it, if He didn’t leave it alone!

Feed your body with life giving foods, practice moderation, eat when you’re hungry from whole natural foods and only enough until you’re no longer hungry, not full. Exercise regularly, live a life of balance, and avoid things that are toxic or poisonous.

Do this and you’ll be well on your way to long-term lasting weight loss. Fruit is not your enemy in a weight loss program. Complex sugars, refined sugar (sucrose), and processed foods are the culprits.

But don’t just take my word for it, listen to your body. It will always let you know if you’re feeding it the right way. And learn about coolsculpting from CoolSculpting EDU.

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. He specializes in helping people achieve a body transformation with burst training exercise and whole food nutrition. You can receive a FREE no-obligations trial of his Charleston personal fitness programs and start experiencing the Shaping Concepts difference today.

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Category: Fat Loss.