What is the best fruit for weight loss? Nutritionist reveals their favorites and why

The best fruit for weight loss can help keep you full and conquer sweet cravings. These are the recommended ones to choose and why

Woman chopping up berries and strawberries, the best fruit for weight loss
(Image credit: Getty Images)

What's the best fruit for weight loss? It's a common question asked by those looking for more snack ideas on the journey to losing weight healthily and sustainably. While we know that all fruit is good for us, it turns out that some are better than others when it comes to staying full and conquering cravings. 

Packed full of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber, potassium, and folate, fruit is one of the best snacks, breakfast foods, and ingredients for keeping us healthy and on the move. However, many people don't know that fruit can also be a real essential on a healthy weight loss journey, helping to keep us fuller for longer and as a replacement for foods higher in calorie-rich sugar and saturated fats. 

From fiber-packed pulp to hydrating water content, fruit can help you stay on track and lose weight without dieting in the traditional way. Here, a certified nutritionist explains why fruit is one of the best foods for weight loss, and the top picks to buy at the grocery store. 

Is fruit good for weight loss? 

Eating fruit as part of a varied and balanced diet can be really beneficial if you're trying to lose weight, says nutritionist Eli Brecher. "Along with the high water content of fruit, fiber makes it filling and satiating, which can help keep appetite at bay," she explains. "It's also a great way to satisfy sweet cravings, replacing higher-calorie treats." 

At least in the early stages, weight loss is all about trying to keep the number of calories you eat every day lower than the number of calories you burn - known as a calorie deficit. Being able to make that conscious swap and being able to stay full for more hours means you're less likely to snack on those foods higher in calories and saturated fat, reducing your total calorie intake for the day. 

But don't just take our word for it, the evidence speaks for itself. "A study by Chonbuk University Medical School found that overweight or obese adults who ate more fruit experienced greater weight loss than those who didn't," Brecher points out, thanks to all the benefits it can offer. 

But what is the best fruit for weight loss to choose from? Of course, any fruit is a good addition to your diet but these are the ones that offer additional benefits alongside their vitamin-packed properties. 

5 fruits for weight loss 

1. Berries

Adding some berries to your porridge or overnight oats in the morning can help see you through until lunchtime, says Brecher. "They are very high in fiber and very low in sugar and calories", she explains. 

Plus, they come with loads of other benefits. "Regular consumption of berries may also help lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and inflammation, all of which may be beneficial for those looking to lose weight," she adds, pointing to research by the University of Maine. Adding berries to yogurt with a dash of protein powder will also make them one of the best high-protein low-calorie foods.

A collection of berries scattered across porridge with nuts, the best fruit for weight loss

(Image credit: Getty Images)

2. Pineapple

Pineapple is a summer staple - and among the best fruit for weight loss as they can help with digestion, reducing the chance of uncomfortable bloating. 

"Pineapples are sweet yet tangy and contain an enzyme called bromelain, which supports healthy digestion by breaking down protein molecules and promoting nutrient absorption," says Brecher. "Pineapples do contain a bit more sugar than the other fruits listed though, so be mindful of portion sizes." 

3. Apples

For those wondering what to snack on when dieting, apples could be the winner. "The crunchy texture allows plenty of chewing, which can help promote feelings of fullness," says the nutritionist. "Try baking them with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a delicious dessert." 

Much like pineapples, apples (whether you go for red or green is up to you) can be beneficial for other reasons too. "They contain a type of prebiotic fiber called pectin, which helps to feed the good gut bacteria in your microbiome," she adds. "A gut microbiome is the collection of trillions of beneficial bacteria and other organisms that live within your digestive tract."

Making sure your gut microbiome is healthy is essential if you're trying to lose weight as the microbes in our gut can play a role in the way we store fat, balance our glucose levels, and how we respond to hunger hormones, per research from the Washington University School of Medicine.

4. Kiwi

Kiwi is the green fruit to go for if you're looking to top up your vitamin intake along the way. "They are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, as well as being high in fiber," says Brecher. "Plus, they have a low glycaemic index (GI), which means that the naturally-occurring sugar is released more slowly into the bloodstream, resulting in smaller blood sugar spikes."

But many people mistakenly get rid of the most nutritious part of the kiwi when they're slicing it up: the skin. While it's not to everyone's taste, it's this part that's particularly high in fiber. "I recommend eating it or blending it into a smoothie," the nutritionist suggests.

Collection of kiwi on a table next to knife

(Image credit: Getty Images)

5. Grapefruit

Grapefruit is famous for being one of the best fruits for weight loss, with big claims like eating one a day for a whole year can help you lose a stone in a year. While the evidence behind that is dubious at best, the nutritionist does agree that you should slip one of these sour fruits into your basket if you're looking to lose weight. 

"At just 37 calories, half a grapefruit provides over half your daily recommended intake of vitamin C," explains Brecher. "Grapefruit also has a low glycaemic index (GI), which means it releases sugar into your bloodstream more slowly, and it's high in naringenin. This is a type of flavonoid with antioxidant properties that may help protect against diabetes and heart disease."   

Can fruit help to burn fat?

No, says nutritionist Brecher. "There's actually no single food that can be classed as 'fat-burning' and no magic pill that will melt away the pounds. All food contains some calories and it's your overall dietary pattern that will ultimately contribute to weight gain or weight loss."

The only way to burn fat is to lower your overall weight. Fat burning and losing weight go hand in hand - when you lose weight, some of that will come from water weight and muscle (if you don't focus on protein and strength training), but it will come from fat too. 

There are some foods - like protein-rich legumes and beans, ginger, and even water - which are considered metabolism-boosting, which is where the idea of a 'fat-burning food' comes from. However, there's very limited research that these actually work to boost the speed of your metabolism, i.e. how quickly you digest food, for any valuable length of time. 

Is fruit juice good for weight loss?

Unfortunately for fruit juice fans, unless it's freshly squeezed, fruit juice generally isn't good for weight loss, says Brecher. "I recommend sticking to whole fruit rather than drinking fruit juice, which has had most of the fiber stripped away." 

Store-bought fruit juice is also often packed with sugars, sweeteners, and artificial preservatives to keep it tasting fresher for longer. This can add more calories to the can and if it's a diet version or dubbed 'low-calorie' then, as the latest research on aspartame (one of the many sweeteners used in diet and low-calorie drinks) shows, it can leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable.  

Plus, it's a lot easier to drink juice than it is to eat fruit. As noted, fruit takes up space in the stomach and can make us feel full for a little while at a lower calorie count than some other foods. However, for instance, one bottle of fruit juice could contain two or three oranges. Blended up from scratch with all the pulp, that's two to three times more calories than you'd get from eating a singular orange, so overall you're consuming more calories without that satiating feeling.

In much the same way, the best fruit for weight loss will always be the fresh variety. "Fresh fruit is usually a better option as the sugar in dried fruit is more concentrated," says Brecher. "The water content of fresh fruit, along with the fiber, helps keep us full too and results in less of a blood sugar spike than the equivalent fruit in dried form."

However, fruit juice is unlikely to be the downfall in your weight loss progress. Drinking (and eating) the things you enjoy while trying to lose weight as part of a healthy calorie deficit is essential for staying on track over time. If you give up all the foods and drinks you enjoy in moderation, the research shows you're just more likely to binge on them later. 

Grace Walsh
Health Editor

A digital health journalist with over six years of experience writing and editing for UK publications, Grace has covered the world of health and wellbeing extensively for Cosmopolitan, The i Paper and more.

She started her career writing about the complexities of sex and relationships, before combining personal hobbies with professional and writing about fitness. Everything from the best protein powder to sleep technology, the latest health trend to nutrition essentials, Grace has a huge spectrum of interests in the wellness sphere. Having reported on the coronavirus pandemic since the very first swab, she now also counts public health among them.