Is fruit a healthy snack when losing weight?

Fruit is sweet, water-rich and low in calorie, ticking 3 boxes for weight-loss clients. On my Low-Carb plan I encourage 2 portions a day of low-sugar fruit. On the Low-fat plan 2 portions of all fruit is encouraged per day. The riper the fruit the higher the content of simple sugar.

Main Health Benefit

Fruit is one of the best food sources of Vitamin C and also supplies potassium, manganese, Vitamin E, copper and a little of the B vitamins, including folate. Vitamin C keeps our skin, gums and blood vessels healthy.  It is a primary anti-oxidant. Easy bruising on your skin can be 1 sign that you need more Vitamin C.

I recommend no more than 3 portions a day (1 portion is 80g) with each piece eaten separately and with a fat or protein such as nuts, yogurt, or nut butter to reduce the Insulin response. Eat dried fruit in very small portions e.g. 1 date with a few nuts.

What are the low sugar fruits?

 Table 1 shows a list of fruits in order of the lowest sugar content to the highest. The fresher the fruit, the higher the fibre and lower the sugars.

 

Fruits, all 100g Water % Sugar g
Rhubarb, stewed no sugar

94

0.7

Avocado, average

72

1.9

Melon, Canteloupe-type

92

4.2

Raspberries, raw

87

4.6

Blackberries, raw

85

5.1

Melon, Galia

91

5.6

Passion fruit

74

5.8

Strawberries, raw

89

6

Melon, Honeydew

92

6.6

Grapefruit, raw

89

6.8

Melon, watermelon

92

7.1

Apricots, raw

87

7.2

Peaches, raw

88

7.6

Satsumas

87

8.5

Oranges

86

8.5

Plums, average, raw

83

8.8

Nectarines

88

9

Papaya

N/A

9.8

Pears, average, raw

83

10

Pineapple, raw

86

10.1

Kiwi fruit

84

10.6

Mango, raw

84

11.2

Cherries, raw

82

11.5

Apples, eating, average, raw

84

11.8

Grapes, average

81

15.4

Bananas

75

23.2

Dates, raw

60

31.3

Prunes

22

38.4

Raisins

13

69.3

Table 1: Low to high sugar content in  fruit (McCance & Widdowson 6th Edition)

Tip 1: Choose Rhubarb, melons, berries as low sugar options and when you really need energy, such as before exercise, choose grapes, banana, cherries.

Tip 2: If you are trying to lose weight or are storing fat around your middle or have been diagnosed with high triglycerides, avoid the higher sugar fruits until you re-balance your body. (dried fruits, grapes, bananas).

Tip 3. Dried fruit has about 13 times the amount of sugar as whole berries – berries are a better snack option with nuts/seeds than dried fruit. Dried fruit in a teaspoon size serving can make a granola/muesli more interesting. Portion – control dried food as carefully as you would portion pure sugar.

What are high Fibre fruits?

Fruits, per 100g NSP g
Prunes

6.5

Avocado, average

3.4

Passion fruit

3.3

Blackberries, raw

3.1

Mango, raw

2.6

Raspberries, raw

2.5

Pears, average, raw

2.2

Table 2. Higher fibre fruits

Table 2 shows the highest fibre fruits. Higher fibre helps to slow the entry of sugar into the blood from the gut, reducing sugar slumps and peaks. Also, fibre helps to keep the bowel healthy.

What is a portion? One portion is 80g. A small apple is 100g however a banana can weigh up to 300g. 2 satsuma’s is  a portion.

Fruit & High Triglycerides – Is there a link?   Fruits contain glucose, fructose and sucrose. Glucose is taken up by our cells to be burnt as energy, under instruction by Insulin. However Fructose is  metabolised by the liver.  If a person’s diet is excessive in calories, the liver can use fructose to create more triglycerides (fats). Hence the need for portion controls with fruit due to the link of excess fructose and high blood triglycerides. A blood test at your local GP provides a measure of your blood triglycerides and blood sugars.

Fructose is extracted from fruits and used as a sweetener in breakfast cereals, cakes, desserts, soda drinks and juices. High-fructose corn syrup is frequently named in American papers as a key culprit in the obesity crisis.

A query I had from a client on dried fruit answered below:

prune is a dried plum            raisin is a dried grape            dates are dates and grow on the date palm

If you would like to learn more about my 2 diet plans for weight-loss, contact me.

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