All of us know fruits to contain more sugar than most other regular foods. We also know sugar to be one of the primary causes of unwanted weight gain. Interestingly, the low consumption of fruit is said to be the fourth leading factor contributing to global disease, and so, is one of the primary risk factors for being overweight (high BMI), high blood sugar and high cholesterol.
How strange is it then, that studies have shown the daily consumption of fruit to be inversely co-related to weight gain!? As per this study , that’s apparently the case as per the following probable mechanisms:
- Reduction of caloric consumption, possibly due to fruits not being energy dense, not containing any fat, being high in water content as well as including fibre, which further reduces their overall caloric value.
- Prolonged satisfaction, due to the presence of dietary fibre in fruits, which work towards reducing gross intake due to increased satiety as well as delaying the emptying of the stomach due to the effects of soluble fibre.
- Micro-nutrients effect on metabolism, specifically in areas to do with fat deposits and Leptin resistance among others, related to nutrients such as Vitamin A, E, C as well as minerals such as Zinc, Iron and Calcium.
- Anti-obesity effects of non-essential Phytochemicals, which are already known to decrease risk of cancers, Type II Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and obesity through mechanisms such as the reduction of oxidative stress.
- Effects on the gut environment, by reducing certain bacteria associated with overweight individuals and increasing certain bacteria associated with lean individuals.
- Undiscovered mechanisms, which need further research for enhanced clarity.
Having said that, certain fruits and fruit derivatives appear to be related to an increase in unwanted weight.
- The consumption of fruit juices in pre-school children was associated with the probability of obesity as well as lower height.
- A fruit rich diet in pre-adolescent and adolescent boys and girls was associated with weight gain if their total caloric intakes weren’t adjusted to their individual requirements.
- Kiwi fruits were associated with weight gain
- Further research is required to conclusively prove the above points.
So, get a daily dose of fruits for yourself and your families and I’ll do the same. Even better, include fruits as a part of a planned diet.
- Paradoxical Effects of Fruit on Obesity