Some claim that pineapple can speed up your metabolism and boost fat loss. While there's nothing wrong with including pineapple in your weight-loss diet, this claim is overstated, and you need to be careful not to consume so much pineapple that you overshoot your daily calorie allowance.
Pineapple and Metabolism
Sports medicine specialist Dr. Dan Hamner claims that bromelain -- a compound contained in pineapple -- speeds up the digestion process, leading to a metabolism boost. Dietitian Sandra Mikhail disagrees, however, stating that individual foods do not lead to any significant increase in metabolic rate. Even if they do provide a short-term boost, this doesn't have any effect long term.
Breaking Down Bromelain
Bromelain is found in the stem of pineapple and is also referred to as pineapple enzyme and pineapple extract. The job of enzymes is to break down certain compounds in food, which is where the notion that pineapple breaks down fat may have originated. Bromelain's role, however, is actually to break down protein. This aids digestion, but it won't directly benefit fat burning or weight loss.
Cracking Down on Calories
While fruit is generally considered a healthier alternative to processed sugary foods, pineapple is still relatively high in sugar and calories, especially compared to other fruits. A 1-cup serving of pineapple contains around 82 calories. It also has just over 16 grams of sugar and around 2 grams of fiber. A cup of strawberries, on the other hand, has 49 calories, 7 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fiber, while 1 cup of raspberries has 64 calories, 5 grams of sugar and 8 grams of fiber.
The End Result
You can certainly include pineapple in your weight-loss diet and get results, but you do need to make sure you stay within your calorie limits. Even though pineapple is nutritious, it is more calorically dense and has a worse sugar-to-fiber ratio than other fruits, so aim to eat a variety of different fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet.
- SunFM: Speed Up Your Metabolism With Pineapple or Peppermint?
- Nutrition A-Z: Foods That Boost Your Metabolism, Fact or Fiction?
- American Cancer Society: Bromelain
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Pineapple, Raw, All Varieties
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Strawberries, Raw
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Raspberries, Raw