I’ve lost 100 pounds counting calories and swapping worse foods for better ones. One common diet tip is to boost vegetables and fruit. Good start. But it’s not that simple. Some fruits are better than others. Some are fat burners and some should be avoided altogether. Here are fruit food swaps and recipes to trim pounds.
* Swap juice for pulp. Juice is where much of the fruit’s sugar is distilled. Juice, sans pulp, provides no roughage. The exception are home-juiced fruit juices with pulp left in. When you juice go heavy on the vegetables–spinach, carrots, kale, squash– and light on fruit to cut calories.
* Trade stones for seeds. Stone fruit include peaches, nectarines, plums. Seed fruits include blueberries, acai, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, apples and pears.
* Switch to berries. Berries are powerhouses of antioxidants and fat burners because they contain vitamins and more fiber from seeds. Women’s Fitness reports that researchers at the University of Michigan found blueberries cut belly fat plus reduce metabolic syndrome (early diabetes) symptoms. They are also typically lower in sugar. Other diet-friendly berries include cranberries and bilberries.
* Trade plantain for bananas. Some weight loss gurus might disagree with me. But here’s my rationale: plantain has more calories, but also more fiber, protein, vitamin A and C and less sugar. Plantain is also super-filling. I eat plantain for lunch when I go to my favorite Detroit pupuseria. Let plantains get black. Bake and serve with Greek yogurt.
* Substitute grapefruit for oranges. Men’s Health Eat This Not That gives grapefruit two thumbs way up for providing a lot of belly fat burning bang for its low calorie budget. Grapefruit is a great source of vitamin C and vitamin A. When I drink juice, it’s usually unsweetened pink grapefruit juice.
* Nix dried fruit in preference to fresh fruit and nuts. Raisins, dates, figs aren’t bad for you, per se. But they are contain super concentrated sugars and crazy-high calorie counts. Delete those raisins from your morning bran and substitute almonds. I know, almonds are nuts, but nuts are also the “fruit” of their host plants.
* Swap bread and grain breakfasts for a fruit starter. I eat half a grapefruit or a half cup of blueberries in the morning before my oatmeal. I find it cleanses and helps my food digest better.
Your best bet is to buy locally grown and sourced fruit, in season, from farm markets, instead of imported fruits from food conglomerates.