When it comes to losing weight, a number of factors must line up to achieve visible, healthy results. While a sustained calorie deficit is one of the most important aspects, the foods you get those calories from also have a huge impact on your body in terms of the energy you provide and their unique effect on your metabolism. It is undeniable that some foods, such as lean proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables, are a valuable addition to your diet, but there are others that are less clear about their impact on your overall health.
If you’ve been following a healthy, balanced diet but are still struggling to achieve results, there is one food that experts agree may be hindering your progress and standing in the way of weight loss.
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Although fresh fruit is rich in fiber and is undoubtedly one of the most important food groups to eat regularly for healthy weight loss, eating dried fruits can have the opposite effect on the body when eaten in large quantities. It’s hardly to blame for your belief that this snack will provide a healthy addition to your eating plan, but the truth is that it’s stripped of many of the essential nutrients that its fresh counterpart provides.
“Dried fruit tends to be higher in sugar than I prefer to consume, mainly because it is highly concentrated in nature,” explains dietitian Lisa Richards. “This type of fruit, regardless of its type, is remarkably high in calories and sugar.”
While it’s true that fresh fruit contains its fair share of natural sugar, the dried variety is devoid of much of the fiber that makes fruit so great for weight loss. “This is primarily due to the method of preparation that causes a high concentration of sugar and calories in a small serving size. Due to the small nature of dried fruits, these snacks are easy to eat and calories add up quickly,” Richards cautions.
Fiber is essential to keep your body full, which limits the possibility of overeating, but when the fruit dries up, what’s left is a flood of calories and sugar that won’t satiate you effectively.
This doesn’t mean that dried fruit has no place in your eating habits, and while it shouldn’t be the only ingredient you eat during the day, mixing it with other filling foods can have a much more positive effect on your body. Diet while limiting long-term overeating.
“Pairing dried fruit with a protein source can help prevent overeating,” Richards says. “[But] Whole, unprocessed fruit is the best snack option as it is easy to reach and easy to reach.”
At the end of the day, sometimes enjoying dried fruits won’t derail you from reaching your weight loss goals, but limiting consumption in favor of more nutrient-rich snacks can definitely help simplify the process. Blindly assuming that some foods are healthy without paying attention to their nutrition facts is a huge mistake that can make losing weight an uphill battle, but focusing on eating generally balanced meals complete with protein, carbs and healthy fats will make up for foods like dried fruits that offer less benefit to your body.