Do you want to add more fruit to your diet for weight loss, health, and nutrition? Here is a list of the most beneficial fruits to eat while shedding pounds as well as a long list of recipes and ideas for adding more fruit to your diet.
Fruit is Helpful During Weight Loss Because It Is Low in Calorie Density
Is sugar from fruit bad for weight loss? Is fruit fattening?
Many of us have been led to believe that we should avoid fruit while losing weight, but this is a weight loss myth. Numerous studies have proven that people who regularly eat fruit weigh less than those who leave it out of their diet.
Fruit is low in calorie density. That means that eating fruit is helpful for weight loss because you are filling your stomach and giving your body needed nutrition yet not taking in too many calories.
While it’s true that fruit does have natural sugars, it also has fiber which slows down absorption. Even people who are diabetic can safely consume fruit as part of a well-rounded eating plan.
What are the Best Fruits for Weight Loss?
The best fruits for weight loss are ones you will enjoy and eat. Generally, fruits with a lower sugar content (such as berries) have been recommended over higher-sugar fruits like pineapple and mango.
Studies show that all fruits are beneficial and can be included a healthy diet while losing weight.
Eating a wide variety of fruits is good for a healthy microbiome. All fruits also include fiber which regulates blood sugar and digestion.
Two fruits that are especially good for fat burning and weight regulation are blueberries and apples.
Blueberries: Blueberries have a low glycemic index (GI) which means they have a low impact on our blood sugar levels. Blueberries are also a very rich source of antioxidants, which are thought to help reduce the risk of developing cancer. They are a good source of vitamin K, manganese and vitamin C too, placing them high on the nutrient-density scale.
Apples: Apples are a fantastic source of fiber which helps promote a healthy digestive system. This also aids in the regulation of blood sugar levels. They are also a great source of vitamin C. Although apples aren’t as nutrient-rich as some other fruits and vegetables, they are thought to have both anti-cancer and anti-asthma properties. In addition, they’re good for cardiovascular health.
Other fruits especially good for weight loss include grapefruit, pineapple, watermelon, stone fruits, kiwi and bananas.
List of Fruits for Weight Loss
There are hundreds of delicious fruits that you can eat and enjoy while losing weight. Here are some of the most popular.
What Fruits Should You Avoid for Weight Loss?
None! All fruits can be included in a healthy weight reduction plan.
Choose fresh fruit over dried, which has a higher calorie density due to the water being removed. Frozen fruit is a great option to keep on hand without worries of it spoiling.
If using canned fruit, be sure to choose fruits packed in natural juice and without added sugar or syrups.
Do not drink fruit juices when you are trying to lose weight. Compared to whole fruit, fruit juice is stripped of it’s natural fiber, resulting in a drink that is high in calories and low in nutritional benefit.
Should You Eat Only Fruit to Lose Weight?
The Fruit Diet for Weight Loss, also called the Fruitarian Diet is a short-term weight loss plan where people eat only fruit for 7 or 14 days in order to see rapid weight loss. This type of plan is not recommended by doctors.
While fruit is a healthy food, it is lacking in vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, iodine and omega-3 fatty acids. Fruit is also low in calories and protein, making it difficult to have the necessary energy for daily function.
Add fruit to your diet when you are trying to drop pounds, but don’t eat fruit exclusively.
Zero Point Fruit on Weight Watchers
For Weight Watchers members, all fruit (except those with added sugar) is 0 points on all 3 MyWW plans, Green, Blue, and Purple, making it a fantastic way to add nutrition and satiation to your meals without added points. (For a complete list of the Weight Watchers zero point foods, with free printables, click here for the Green 100 Zero Point Food List, Blue 200 Zero Point Food List, and Purple 300 Zero Point Food list.)
Enjoy all types of fruit while on WW and don’t worry that will add pounds. You will not gain weight from including fruit in your diet.
Take note that blended fruit has points on WW and plan accordingly. The reason for this is that liquid calories do not provide the same satisfaction as those you eat. My general rule is eat your calories with a fork or spoon and don’t drink them through a straw.
Fruit juice also has points on WW for the same reason.
50+ Fruit Recipes and Ideas for Losing Weight
- Oatmeal with fruit. A morning bowl of oatmeal can be completely transformed depending on the fruit you use with it. Some of my favorite combinations are oatmeal with berries, oatmeal with chopped apples or applesauce, oatmeal with tropical fruits and a sprinkle of shredded coconut, PBJ oatmeal made with PB2 powder and strawberries or blueberries, and chocolate cherry oatmeal made with frozen cherries and cocoa powder.
- Baked oatmeal with fruit. Bake a 9×13 pan of oatmeal or bake into muffins for a quick on-the-go oatmeal that has a different texture than oatmeal in a bowl. Try this Gingerbread Baked Oatmeal recipe.
- Overnight oatmeal with fruit. It’s easy to make overnight oats by soaking oats in water in the fridge overnight. Enjoy cold or cooked in the morning. Try these PBJ overnight oats.
- Smoothies with fruit. While I caution people not to drink smoothies during weight loss, I know some people love them and find them helpful. If you’re going to have a smoothie, fruit adds natural sweetness without added sugar. Try our mango green smoothie recipe.
- Eat a piece of fruit before each meal. Research studies have shown that when people “pre-load” their meals with a piece of fruit, salad, or bowl of soup with about 100 calories, they eat less during that meal. Apples and pears were found to be the most filling fruits for this purpose.
- Banana soufflé. This 2-ingredient, whole food banana recipe is a delicious snack, breakfast or dessert that is popular with people who use our free The Holy Mess 3 Day Diet Plan.
- Banana pancakes. Did you know you can make a healthier pancake with just bananas and eggs? Get the banana pancake recipe here.
- Fruit desserts. Simple desserts can be created with homemade or instant pudding. Try our Strawberry Pretzel Dessert, Cranberry Mini-Trifles or Red, White, and Blue Berry Dessert.
- Angel food cake with fruit. Our Lemon Angel Food Cake pairs amazingly well with strawberries or raspberries.
- Yogurt with fruit. Yogurt and fruit are a natural pairing because the sweetness of the fruit balances the tart yogurt. For more yogurt ideas, check out this list of 45 ways to enjoy Greek yogurt.
- Fruit with cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is full of protein and pairs especially well with pineapple, peaches, or cantaloupe.
- Cottage cheese, fruit, and oatmeal. This pairing might sound a bit weird but I promise it’s delicious. It tastes like a cheese Danish for a fraction of the calories and fat. Cook oatmeal as you normally would, then top with a dollop of cottage cheese and add fruit to the top.
- Bake with applesauce. Replace some or all of the oil in baked goods with unsweetened applesauce.
- Pack fruit in a meal prep box. On the weekends, prep your fruit for meals and snacks and keep it in handy meal prep boxes, like in our Starbucks Copycat Bistro Protein Lunch Boxes.
- Instant pot applesauce. If you haven’t made applesauce before, I encourage you to try it. Homemade applesauce is one hundred times better than anything you will buy at a store. We make our own every fall with boxes of apples from a local farm and the pressure cooker makes it easy.
- Splurge on fresh fruit. Fresh fruit can be expensive depending on season. I’ve learned that it’s okay to splurge on some of these higher-priced items if they help me maintain my 100 pound weight loss.
- Pomegranate. If you haven’t tried pomegranate seeds on your salads and on top of grains, you are in for a real treat. Pom seeds are tart and sweet with a crunchy texture. Here’s a trick for quickly removing pomegranate seeds or simply buy them in a cup in the produce section.
- Mango. Mango is a delicious tropical fruit to enjoy. Remove the pit from a fresh mango and slice. You can eat the skin or remove it. I like mango with a squirt of fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of chili powder. I keep frozen mango on hand and use it to make nice cream and on top of oatmeal.
- Watermelon. Watermelon is such a delicious summer treat! Because of the high water content, it is a natural diuretic and helps keep you hydrated in hot weather. When I used to race triathlons, slices of watermelon were my favorite post-race food.
- Grapefruit. This puckery fruit can be enjoyed plain or try slices on top of your oatmeal for a sweet and tart flavor. Add slices to salads for a refreshing twist.
- Fruit in pancakes. Add fruit (bananas or blueberries work great) to your favorite pancake or waffle recipe. Serve pancakes with sliced fruits and berries to put on top. Our family enjoys breakfast for dinner about once a week and we have tried all sorts of fruit variations on our pancakes.
- Frozen fruit. Keep a variety of frozen fruits on hand and use them on top of oatmeal, for nice cream, and simply as snacks. I keep frozen wild blueberries, cherries, mango, and berry blends in my freezer. I freeze bananas in slices when the bananas start to turn brown. Try slightly thawed fruit as a quick dessert or snack. Many readers love our Greek yogurt breakfast with thawed frozen berries on the 3 day diet plan.
- Fruit “nice” cream. Make fruit ice cream in the blender with frozen fruit. Banana ice cream is the most popular but other fruits work, too. This is a popular dessert at our house that I feel good about eating and serving to my kids.
- Berries and milk. Swap the cream for milk or almond milk and enjoy a bowl of fresh berries with milk poured over it. My favorite is raspberries with almond or oat milk.
- Fruit in green salads. I eat a huge salad for lunch almost every day and in addition to green lettuce and all types of vegetables, I love including fruit. Some of my favorites are apples, berries, mango, pears, kiwi, and pineapple. I top my salads with one of the oil-free salad dressings on this list.
- Healthy fruit slushy. In the summer, a quick fruit slushie is so refreshing. Blend in a blender your favorite fruit-flavored no-calorie beverage (such as Crystal Light) and frozen fruit of choice.
- Fruit subscription boxes. If the fruit choices where you live are limited, consider a fruit box such as from Misfit Market.
- Fruit salad. You can’t go wrong with a delicious fruit salad. Chop your favorite fruits and combine them in a bowl. Include a citrus fruit or fruit juice to keep other fruits from turning brown. Fruit salad is best when served fresh but will keep in the fridge for about 24 hours.
- Frozen grapes. Freeze grapes plain or coated in Jell-O powder in the flavor of your choice. Pop them for a sweet treat. Kids love these.
- Flavor your water with fruit. Drink more water by using an infuser water bottle and fill with your favorite fresh fruit. Try a mixture of fruit and cucumber for a really refreshing treat. (Need to track your water intake? Use our free printable water tracker.)
- Kiwi for constipation. Did you know that kiwis help keep you regular? Try 2 kiwis per day to keep things moving. Prunes work for this purpose, too.
- Apple chips. While these aren’t as good for weight loss as eating a whole apple (because a whole apple has all the moisture retained), these air fryer apple chips are still full of nutrition and a better choice from fried potato chips.
- Healthier fruit crisp. Try our healthier apple crisp recipe for a lighter taken on this classic dessert.
- Winter fruits. While fruit isn’t as abundant in the winter, winter fruits are in season. These include pomegranate, pumelo, blood oranges and grapefruit.
- Sweeten with dates instead of sugar. Dates can be used to replace sugar in many recipes, such as this whole food plant based chocolate pie.
- Unusual fruits. Next time you go to the store, pick of a new fruit you haven’t tried before. New fruits to look for might include ugly fruit, dragon fruit, star fruit, or papaya.
- Grilled fruit. In the summer, grill fruit to caramelize and bring out the natural sweetness. Grilled pineapple rings are one of my favorite summer treats.
- Fruit and chia seed pudding. Chia seeds make a wonderful tapioca-like pudding that is full of nutrition. Here is a basic vanilla chia seed pudding recipe and here is one that makes a gorgeous rainbow presentation.
- Sweet potato with mashed banana and lemon. For a deliciously different breakfast or snack, mash one banana and drizzle with 1/2 tsp lemon juice. Split a baked sweet potato in half and top with banana. (Did you know that potatoes are a wonderful addition to a healthy weight loss diet? Here are 50 healthy ways to include potatoes in your diet and still lose weight.)
- Healthy banana split. Make a drool-worthy banana split for breakfast or anytime you want a treat. Split the banana and arrange on a plate. Top with fruits and a small sprinkle of granola or cereal. Drizzle with tahini, peanut or almond butter or peanut butter powder mixed with a small amount of water.
- Pineapple party skewers. These fun fruit and cheese kebobs are always a hit when we make them for parties.
- Take fruit with you. Do you have a busy day of running errands or kids activities? Grab a piece of fruit as you head out the door. I often grab an apple or banana to carry along in case I need a quick snack.
- Pineapple fried rice served in pineapple halves. Pineapple is a wonderful addition to fried rice. To make it fancy, serve it in a carved out pineapple.
- Pineapple on pizza. I know it’s controversial, but I personally love pineapple on pizza. Our simple 2-ingredient dough makes a delicious crust. I recently learned that in other countries, banana slices are popular on pizza, too.
- Plantains. If you haven’t tried plantains yet, you are in for a real treat. Plantains look like a large banana but are starchy and need to be cooked. While traditionally served fried, you can bake or use your air fryer to make plantain chips that are really delicious.
- Rice pilaf with cranberries, raisins or craisins. Try this recipe for rice pilaf with cranberries and apples. (I leave out the butter to make it healthier.) For added nutrition, stuff your rice pilaf into half of a baked acorn or butternut squash.
- Chicken salad with fruit. Add grapes or mandarin orange slices to your favorite chicken salad recipe.
- Apple Broccoli Salad. This crunchy cruciferous salad is a popular reader favorite and also included in the 7 Day Easy Meal Plan.
- Fruit sushi (frushi). Frushi is a fun sushi variation with sweet rice and fruit topping. These are great for parties and especially fun for kids.
- Watermelon “cake”. Prepare a large watermelon and decorate it like a cake for your next party or family gathering.
- Instant pot cranberry sauce. You can make healthy cranberry sauce in your pressure cooker in just minutes. This is wonderful at holiday time.
- Blueberry Muffins. Try this healthy blueberry muffin recipe with no added oils.
- Get a box of fruit from a local farm. Support your local farmer while enjoying amazingly fresh produce. We have ordered boxes of peaches, strawberries, cherries, and more from local farms and every fall we buy boxes of fresh apples. Enjoy the fruit fresh and freeze or can the extra for later.
With all of these delicious options, you’ll be able to add fruit to your diet in new and healthy ways that will help you lose weight.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy fruit? Share it in the comments below.