There's always a new fad diet or trendy food combination that claims to help you shed pounds. Take, for instance, cucumber and pineapple juice. But do pineapple and cucumber help you lose weight, really?
While there's no magic cucumber and pineapple detox or pineapple-cucumber-ginger juice for weight loss, incorporating these plants into a balanced diet and active lifestyle can certainly support your efforts to lose weight — here's why.
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Save Calories With Cucumbers
Cucumbers are made mostly of water. They have very little in the way of trace nutrients — most are concentrated in the peel, according to Michigan State University.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, foods that are low-density and contain a lot of water make us feel full longer. That's why cucumbers are a good addition to a weight-loss diet: They can help you feel satiated while also keeping your calorie count down compared to more processed snacks.
Indeed, per the USDA, 1 cup of sliced cucumbers has only 14.3 calories, making them a very low-calorie snack choice or side dish.
Get the Pineapple Facts
Pineapple is rich in nutrients like fiber, potassium and vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, per My Food Data.
According to the USDA, an 8-ounce serving of pineapple juice contains 131.2 calories, 32 grams of carbohydrates and 24.7 grams of sugar.
Although it's natural, the high sugar content of pineapple juice may warrant portion control as you incorporate it into your diet plan. Eating pineapple fruit whole may be a more nutritious choice, with 82.5 calories and 16.3 grams of sugar for 1 cup of cubed fruit, per the USDA.
Lose Weight Effectively
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most effective way to lose weight is to do it slowly over time. A loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is the recommended pace to aim for.
Anything faster than that can lead to losing water weight and muscle mass, rather than fat loss, according to the Mayo Clinic. Severely restricting calories for quick weight loss can also deprive you of essential nutrients.
Calorie intake should not fall below 1,200 per day for people assigned female at birth or 1,500 per day for people assigned male at birth, except under the supervision of a doctor, per Harvard Health Publishing.
Recipes With Pineapple and Cucumber
Pineapples and cucumber can be a nutritious addition to a weight-loss diet. Here are some recipes to get you started with each of these ingredients:
Weigh the Pros and Cons
Cucumbers and pineapple juice can both be smart additions to a balanced weight-loss plan, but it's important to remember no food or two-food combination provides complete nutrition.
For instance, adding cucumbers and pineapple juice to a balanced diet in place of chips and soft drinks is a good step toward your weight-loss goals. But cucumbers don't offer much in the way of nutrition, and pineapple juice contains nearly 29 grams of sugar per cup, per the USDA, so make sure you balance them with lean proteins, essential fatty acids and whole grains, as well as other fruits and vegetables.
Safe and effective weight loss is best accomplished through portion control, exercise and making long-term lifestyle changes, per the CDC.
- USDA FoodData Central: "Cucumber, Raw"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Losing Weight"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Add More Nutrient-Dense Foods to Your Diet"
- My Food Data: "Pineapple"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Pineapple juice, 100%"
- Michigan State University: "Cool as a cucumber: A filling, low-calorie snack"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Calorie counting made easy"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Pineapple, raw, all varieties"
- Harvard School of Public Health: Vegetables and Fruits - What Should You Eat?