Obesity is a problem of epidemic proportions globally, and the World Health Organization reports that in 2011 it is the fifth leading cause of death worldwide. Obesity can be the precursor to many detrimental conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and certain forms of cancer. Despite all of the promises made by marketers, weight loss is tough and there are no magic potions, pills or drinks that can make it happen overnight. The recommendation from the WHO is to increase physical activity and consumption of vegetables, whole grains, nuts and fruits. Strawberries, grapefruit and grapes are three fruits in particular that may benefit your weight loss efforts.
Strawberries and Weight Loss
Strawberries can contribute to weight loss in a number of ways. Their nutritional profile is a benefit to any diet, as they are low in calories, fat-free and deliver a fair amount of fiber. A one cup serving of sliced strawberries contains only 49 calories and 12 carbohydrates. It also contains 3 g of fiber, which is over 10 percent of the recommended daily intake set by the Institutes of Health. Fiber helps you feel full, satisfying your hunger and preventing the urge to snack. A review in the March 2005 issue of "Nutrition" states that increasing fiber intake reduces overall food intake, and that adding fiber to your diet is key for successful weight loss.
Grapefruit and Weight Loss
Grapefruit is often thought of as a diet food. Only 53 calories in half a large pink, white or red grapefruit and 2 g of fiber make it a wise choice for dieters. Grapefruit has been scientifically proven in numerous studies to be a beneficial aid to weight loss. One such study in the Spring 2006 issue of the "Journal of Medicinal Food" reports that eating half a grapefruit before a meal can lead to significant weight loss, although the researchers state that the exact means by which grapefruit aids in weight loss is not known. Fresh grapefruit is also shown to lower and regulate blood sugar levels, which helps reduce the risk of developing diabetes. If you have a hard time eating plain, fresh grapefruit, sprinkle a little xylitol or stevia on top. Both are natural sweeteners that will not raise your insulin levels.
Grapes And Weight Loss
Many dieters shy away from grapes because of their high sugar content, thinking they will sabotage any weight loss efforts. One cup of red grapes contains 104 calories and 27 carbs, 23 g of which is sugars. Though the numbers may seem high, you may want to consider the benefits that grapes, particularly red grapes, can have on your weight. The September 2009 issue of the "Journal of Nutrition" reports that grapes are a low glycemic food and have the ability to lower and regulate blood sugar levels. They are also high in several polyphenols, including resveratrol, which is reported to prevent obesity caused by high-fat diets. And, they improve the body's response to insulin which may account for its ability to lower blood glucose.
To maximize weight loss efforts, eat sensibly and add exercise to your daily routine. Eating strawberries, grapefruit and grapes will not help with weight loss if you also consume a diet high in fats and processed foods and practice a sedentary lifestyle. Increase your intake of other fruits and vegetables, and choose an exercise as simple as walking around the block. Always speak to your physician before starting any weight loss or exercise program.
- World Health Organization: Obesity and Overweight
- "Nutrition"; Dietary Fiber and Body Weight; JL Slavin; March 2005
- "Journal of Medicinal Food"; The Effects of Grapefruit on Weight and Insulin Resistance: Relationship to the Metabolic Syndrome; K Fujioka, et al.; Spring 2006
- "Journal of Nutrition"; Type 2 Diabetes and Glycemic Response to Grapes and Grape Products; S Zunino; September 2009