Fruit sometimes gets a bad reputation in the weight loss world because it has sugar.
Fruit, however, contains many nutrients that are beneficial to your health and can also help keep you full while eating fewer calories.
I rounded up some experts to hear their thoughts on the best fruits to eat for weight loss, which you can find below.
For a detailed analysis of the research relating to fruit and weight loss, check out this article: Does Eating Fruit Make You Gain Fat?
I think eating fruit in moderation is great for fat loss because it can effectively help control calorie intake while providing essential vitamins and minerals. My top 3 favorite fruits are strawberries, apples, and grapefruits. A cup of strawberries only has 50 calories and 7 grams of sugar, yet provides 3 grams of fiber. What I also love about strawberries (and all berries) is they satisfy your sweet/sugar cravings as well, and they boast a very impressive nutrient profile. An apple is only 100 calories, is easy to carry around, and makes a great pre-workout snack. After that is grapefruit because it has been shown to help control blood sugar, it really helps fill you up, and I love the taste.
– Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT
Berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are packed full of nutrients and are lower in sugar than other types of fruit such as mangos or bananas. That’s why berries are often lauded as great fat-burning foods. However, fruit in general can help people achieve their fat loss goals. Fruits are nutrient-dense and low calorie, and they help keep a sweet-tooth under control. The fiber in fruit helps with satiety and also slows down the digestion and absorption of fructose, the fruit sugar. With all the vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants they provide, fruit is a great food to incorporate into your diet.
3. Any Fruit
Any fruit is my short answer. Fruits tend to be about 100 calories per serving, don’t spike insulin very high, tend to be high in fiber, are generally a decent source of vitamins and are filling for the amount of calories they contain. I personally like berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc and organic apples, but really all the fruits have different advantages and eating an overall variety throughout the week can be beneficial.
– John Levya, CSCS, CPT
One fruit that may help with fat-loss are avocados. Most people who follow a restricted carbohydrate diet fail to increase their fat content high enough to keep their bodies and metabolisms operating optimally. Per fruit, avocados have about 20 grams of healthy fats which over the course of a day is relatively low. Higher fat may not only increase metabolism but also increase testosterone levels which is one of the main hormones responsible in fat loss for both men AND women.
– Stephen Bergeron, CSCS, CPT
The best fruits to eat for fat loss are the ones that will allow you to eat fewer calories than you burn. For example, although a banana is higher in sugar and calories than a handful of grapes, if eating a banana will make it less likely that you will raid the vending machine in search of a Snicker’s bar, it is a better choice. Lifestyle issues aside, my pick for best fat-burning food is grapefruit. Grapefruit’s high water content helps increase feelings of fullness while providing very few calories. In fact, it takes more energy to digest grapefruit than it contains in calories. While this does not mean someone can eat grapefruit along with anything else he or she pleases and lose weight, adding it to a well-balanced nutrition plan will certainly aid in fat loss.1
– Charlie Seltzer, MD
- One of our readers mentioned that grapefruit may have negative interactions with statins, so if you have high blood cholesterol, please talk to your doctor. ↩
Great article! Fruit is one of nature’s best foods because it is enjoyable to eat and relatively healthy. I recently bought a blender and I’ve been making smoothies daily every morning usually consisting of strawberries, blueberries, banana, ice, and greek yogurt. Down that along with some eggs and I’m off to a solid start every day.
Good to get some reassurance that fruit is good for your diet. I’ve come across some articles for weight loss / body building that suggest not to eat fruit at all because of the sugar content.
Hi Marc. i have a question with regards to bulking phase or muscle building phase. it is good if i will put some cardio after workout when im trying to build muscle while in calorie surplus? does also eating frequently 5-6x good when im trying to bulk up? thanks.hoping for your reply
@mike – given you need a calorie surplus, whatever helps you eat enough food is ideal, and 5-6 meals/snacks can certainly help. Regarding cardio, I would consider doing a little HIIT after the workout, but in a muscle building phase, the emphasis really needs to be on lifting weights. Cardio will help you keep a baseline of cardiovascular health and help your workouts achieve a higher intensity, but that’s really the only purpose of cardio in a muscle building phase. Good luck!
You can eat 2 lbs. of strawberries or over a pound of blueberries for the same calories as a regular size Snickers bar. Seems like a no-brainer.
Post workout I like to put my whey protein isolate powder in the Ninja mixer with some cinnamon. Then add a small chopped up frozen banana and a half cup of blueberries. If you need a little moisture, add a tablespoon of kefir or greek yogurt. It will chop then blend. Keep going and it will puff up in volume. Fruit which is like ice cream.
Occasionally enjoy it also without the w.p.i. just for a nice dessert.
One small frozen banana 75 calories plus half cup of blueberries 40 calories. W-a-y better for you and less calories as a treat than candy bars or cakes.
Thanks for sharing, sounds very sensible.
P.S. don’t screw yourself with “calorie creep” with these. Make sure you pick out the bunches of bananas at the store that are under 6″ to cut and freeze.
great article,i have just started making smoothies and love them.almond milk,peanut butter,spinach,banana and 2 apples,and ice,so good and keeps you full for a few hours. i don’t know why fruit really gets such a bad rap for fat loss,i lost 50 pounds and i was eating 4 to 5 serving of fruits everyday(along with other food)
Thanks for sharing, Pat…I’m interested in adopting that smoothie formula as well. Could you tell me how much almond milk, peanut butter and spinach you add to the banana and 2 apples? Thanks!
No Marc, thank YOU for sharing. I lost 110 lbs. of fat in 9 months thanks to buying the BUILTlean program. Cheaper than buying a pair of my favourite running shoes and it changed almost every aspect of my life. Now I LOOK FORWARD to weightlifting days. 😀
I used to eat grapefruit until I started taking medication to control elevated cholesterol levels. It says on the packet to avoid grapefruit, amongst other things. I know lots of people these days take statins who use the gym regularly and are not over weight and may not be aware of this issue with grapefruit. I would be interested in Charlies thoughts on this
Grapefruits contain a chemical that interacts with the enzymes that break down certain statin drugs, which can cause dangerously high levels of the drug. Not all cholesterol drugs are affected equally. (Or is it effected?) As a side note, I think many people are placed on cholesterol drugs inappropriately. My upcoming article on health markers addresses this.
thanks for the info I was recently told to stop eating fruit as it has too much sugar, and that outweighs any other benefit, also watch the yoghurt non or low fat type contains much more sugar up to 15% per 100 grams to replace the fat
Thank you for debunking a lot of misconceptions surrounding the sugar in fruits. I’m no pro but I live the stuff you guys preach and spend a fair amount of my time vetting nutrition research. I’ve noticed people often lump all sugars (simple and complex carbohydrates) together. They avoid all of them then fall into the trap of carb deprivation only to force their body’s into storing more.
As an aside, Thank you Mr. Bergeron for giving credence to the avocado (and knowing that it was a fruit). The benefits of avocados are too substantial to ignore.
Thanks for the kind words, Aaron. Thanks for following and your participation.
WOW i love avocados but always heard they were High in fat. Glad to see I can munch a few again.
Same can’t be said for guacamole I guess huh? 🙁
This is great. I think sometimes we are afraid of “sweets” in healthy eating. This is a great reminder that natural foods are so beneficial in so many ways! Thanks for sharing.
Fruit is natural and healthy providing it is organic. Conventional fruit is so full of toxins (pesticides and insecticides) that it can be detrimental to health. In addition, try to buy fruit in season and locally produced.
@Aden – yes, some fruits are filled with pesticides. We put up a post recently addressing this topic => 7 Best Foods To Buy Organic.
Hey Marc! Great article. You mentioned an apple as a great pre-workout snack…wouldn’t fruit be a better option for post-workout? Although an apple has a low GI, isn’t the body able to use the sugar more effectively post-workout? Are there any advantages for fruit as pre or post-workout?
@Alexandra – All great questions.
I don’t want to get overly technical to answer your question, because at the end of the day I don’t think it makes much of a difference, but every fruit has a different glycemic index value and glycemic load (See: Glycemic Index). So what fruit you eat when could be impacted by the glycemic index. For example, eating a banana as you workout can help replenish glycogen stores (studies have been done with cyclists proving this) because it digests quickly. A fruit that digests quickly may not be ideal pre workout because the energy may be released to quickly as opposed to more slowly during the workout. I still think an apple pre-workout is an awesome snack, banana with whey etc. after a workout makes sense based on the research. So in sum, slower releasing carbs before a workout, and faster releasing carbs after a workout.
For more information, check out these two articles:
=> Pre Workout – https://www.builtlean.com/2013/02/11/best-pre-workout-meal/
=> Post Workout – https://www.builtlean.com/2012/02/07/post-workout-meal/
thanks marc i really appreciate your answer…
When you are in a cutting phase and want to control your daily intake, based on the following ratio: 1.675Kcal spread with 200gr proteins, 65gr carbs, 65gr fat.
If at breakfast you eat 50gr oatmeal (32gr carbs) and 200gr house made fruits mix(33gr carbs), you basically full in carbs for the day.
So my question is: Do we have to count the fruit carbs like regular carbs or fruits, like green veggies don’t count and make an exception to the counting rule ?
thank you for your answer;
@Dan – If you are doing calorie / macronutrient counting, you count fruit the same as any other food, the sugar does not have any impact.
Thank you for your answer Marc. So I assume it doesn’t leave that much place for fruits in a low carbs cutting nutrition plan 🙁
I guess any type of fruit intake can be of great help to lose weight rather than eating the junk or the fast foods.
This article simply reiterates the benefits of eating fruits for health esp weight loss in a country where many consider meat as the major portion of a meal.
The more fruits and vegetable you eat the better your health is. Period. Go natural.
In my book, fruit is nature’s candy. I enjoy it…..moderately!!!
Hey, before the comments close on this topic, I’d be interested in hearing from the article contributors about the NUMBER of fruit servings they personally consume on any given day.
People are confused because of different articles. I will say moderate eating is the best way to be healthy.
Every thing God created is good.
If you have hunger 100%, you should eat 70%. If we should follow this formula, we will be healthy forever.
Ravi kumar, Admin
This sounds like the Okinawan principle of Hara Hachi Bu, which is the practice of eating until 80% full. Thanks for sharing!
-Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor