Fad diets and trendy food combinations for weight loss come and go, yet somehow those extra pounds remain a constant. Cucumbers have long been considered a dieter's friend because of their high water content and low calorie count. Cucumbers and pineapple used in conjunction with a healthy diet and active lifestyle can certainly support your weight loss efforts.
Cucumbers are made mostly of water. They have very little trace nutrients, mostly concentrated in the peel. According to Pennsylvania State University professor of nutrition Barbara Rolls, foods that are low-density and contain a lot of water make us feel full longer. Hunger is one of the biggest challenges to successful weight loss, so snacking on cucumbers may fill you up while keeping your calorie count down. Six to eight cucumber slices contain only five calories, making them an excellent snack choice as a snack or side dish.
Pineapple contains vitamin A and potassium, as well as an enzyme called papain which aids digestion. It is also high in vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are necessary to fight the free radicals associated with some cancers, as well as with some of the less pleasant side effects of normal aging. One cup of pineapple juice contains 132 calories, so portion control is important when you incorporate pineapple juice into your diet plan.
Weight Loss Facts
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most effective way to lose weight is to do it slowly over time. A loss of one to two pounds per week is the recommended rate to aim for. Losing weight slowly not only saves strain on your heart, it gives your skin time to adjust. Eating cucumbers can help you stay hydrated, which is essential for supple skin. The A and C vitamins in pineapple juice also support skin health.
Pros and Cons
Cucumbers and pineapple juice are both smart choices for a healthy weight-loss plan, but no food or two-food combination provides complete nutrition. Safe and effective weight loss can only be accomplished through portion control, exercise and making long-term lifestyle changes. Adding cucumbers and pineapple juice to a healthy diet in place of chips and soft drinks is a good step toward your weight loss goals. Cucumbers don't offer much in the way of nutrition, and pineapple contains nearly 25 g of sugar per cup, so make sure you balance them with lean proteins, essential fatty acids and whole grains as well as other fruits and vegetables.
- University of Illinois Extension: Cucumber
- Pennsylvania State University; Eat Water, Lose Weight, Heather L. Fletcher; May 2000
- University of Nebraska Lincoln: Pineapple juice
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Pineapple Juice, Canned, Unsweetened, With Added Ascorbic Acid
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Healthy Weight -- It's Not a Diet, It's a Lifestyle!
- Harvard School of Public Health: Vegetables and Fruits - What Should You Eat?