June may be National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month, but you don’t need a special time of year to start adding more of nature’s delectable delights to your plate. Fruits and veggies provide a variety of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, plus fiber, to your diet — all while remaining naturally low in calories, fat and sodium. On top of all that, these nutritious powerhouses can help you maintain a healthy weight! Read on to learn more about the benefits of these healthy treats and which specific fruits and veggies are best for weight loss.
Why are Fruits and Vegetables Essential for Weight Loss?
Just what is it exactly about fruits and veggies that make them so important to any weight-loss routine? When you’re trying to lose weight, the goal is to eat low-energy-dense foods — essentially foods with fewer calories (energy) per serving. Basically, you want to consume a greater volume of food with fewer calories in all.
Most vegetables are low in calories compared to their volume and contain lots of water, which provides substance without calories. Veggies are also high in fiber, which provides volume but takes longer to digest, making you feel full for longer.
Fruit is Mother Earth’s most delicious snack (in our opinion)! Most types of fruit fit into a healthy diet, but some fruits (like avocados, figs and coconuts) have a higher calorie count than others. Whole fresh, frozen and canned fruits without syrup are your best option. Fruit juices and dried fruits contain higher amounts of sugar have a high energy density — which means more calories.
Best Fruits for Weight Loss
Here are a few of the best fruits to eat for weight loss:
– Grapefruit — Half a grapefruit contains just 39 calories and is 90 percent water.
– Apples — These crunchy snacks are low in calories and high in fiber, with 116 calories and 5.4 grams of fiber per large fruit (223 grams).
– Berries — A ½ cup (74 grams) of blueberries contains just 42 calories, and one cup of strawberries contains under 50 calories and provides three grams of dietary fiber.
– Stone fruits — Fruits like cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots are low-calorie and rich in essential nutrients like vitamins C and A.
To add more fruit to your meals, try sprinkling berries or peach slices onto granola. You can also blend a delicious smoothie for breakfast to start the day off right!
Best Vegetables for Weight Loss
Check out a few of the best vegetables for weight loss:
– Broccoli — Broccoli is a great source of fiber and calcium, and a ½ cup is only 15 calories.
– Cabbage — Rich in vitamin C and a great immunity-booster, one cup chopped cabbage is only 22 calories.
– Cauliflower — A great source of vitamin C and folate, cauliflower contains only 27 calories per cup (chopped).
– Lettuce — This diet-friendly food is only 60-70 calories per pound and helps regulate blood sugar.
To add more veggies to your diet, top your pasta with sautéed mushrooms or tomatoes. Add tomatoes, lettuce or sprouts to your sandwiches, and snack on raw carrots or celery instead of chips or salty crackers.
If you need a little extra help reaching your weight loss goals, we’re here to help! Call KC Wellness today at (816) 214-5276 or visit our website to schedule a free consultation to learn more about our medical weight loss program.