Eating Fruit Actually Helps You Lose

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May 21, 2018

By Susan Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by Registered Nurses,
Certified fitness professionals and other members of our Editorial

Fruits and vegetables often are thought of as natural twins
in terms of their health benefits. And, true, studies into the
long term health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables
have found that eating both will reduce your risk for heart
disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer over time. But blurring
the health effects of fruits and vegetables would be a
mistake.  Take obesity, for example. It has long been
assumed that eating both fruits and vegetables contribute
to long term weight loss.

But new studies have shed doubt on that assumption.

Only Eating Fruit Has Been Associated with Long Term
Weight Loss

As shocking as it seems, only eating fruit has been
associated with long term reductions in body weight. This
was the finding of a 2009 study from Utah State University.

The study, led by Dr. Kerstin E. E. Schroder, examined 77
obese or overweight people involved in a dietary

At the start of the experiment, data on body weight and
diet were collected and taken again at 3 months and 6
months after the start.

Although vegetable consumption increased during the
experiment, only fruit intake was linked with loss of body
weight. As the study noted, "only fruit consumption was
associated with body mass index, showing an inverse
relation with body weight in cross-sectional and
longitudinal analyses".

For this reason, Dr; Shroder recommends that we must
separate the fruits from vegetables when it comes to
weight loss recommendations.  Eating fruit is far more
important. But why?

Eating Fruit Cuts Down on Intake of Desserts and Sweets

Fruits contain more sugar than vegetables. But there is
more to fruit than sugar. Fruits also contain micro-nutrients
and Vitamins which help to satisfy the appetite, keep you
hydrated, and curb your taste for high calorie sweets and
desserts. Thus, net-net, fruits tend to reduce the total
amount of calories you eat.

Pure sugar and sugary desserts are high glycemic foods,
meaning they raise your blood sugar levels significantly
after you eat them. Increases in your blood sugar levels
lead to increases in food cravings, which of course then
increase your calorie intake and weight.

Because fruits do not raise your blood sugar levels as high
as pure table sugar or sugary desserts, you do not
experience the cravings and appetite spikes when you eat
fruit that you experience after eating sugar. This too is
another reason that fruit helps in weight loss.  

Fruits Have Fiber

Fiber-rich foods make you feel fuller. Many fruits are high
in fiber. These fiber-rich fruits such as apples and pears
dampen your appetite and extend the number of hours
between meals.

A Word of Caution

The Schroder study is important in that it was one of the
first to separate the effects of eating fruits versus
vegetables for weight loss. But we need to bear in mind
that this was a small study with only 77 people.

In 2015, a larger study of 133, 468 health reports found
that both fruits and vegetables are important factors in
weight loss, so long as they are high fiber and low
glycemic. This study was led by of Harvard T. H. Chan
School of Public Health and Brigham & Women’s Hospital,in
affiliation with Harvard Medical School.

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