6 reasons why fruit can help you lose weight!
Lite n’ Easy Dietitian Larissa Robbins takes a look at the benefits of including fruit in your diet and why we include the fruit we do as part of our Lite n’ Easy meal plans.
Fruit is an essential part of a healthy diet. It is usually lower in calories compared to sweet treats and is full of fibre, which helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer. With all the added benefits of essential vitamins and minerals it can be a great alternative to an energy-dense snack. Here’s six benefits of including fruit in your diet.
1. A healthy way to boost energy levels
It’s no secret Australians love their coffee, with cafes on every corner and a seemingly endless supply of caffeine available. This can make it easy to forget there are other healthy options available to increase your energy levels – such as a good old-fashioned piece of fruit. The natural and healthy sugar in fruit will keep you feeling energised, so when that 3pm slump comes around, you’ll never have to feel guilty about reaching for fruit as a snack.
2. Naturally delicious
Unlike added sugar, the naturally occurring sugar in fruit hasn’t been tampered with through additional refining processes. It’s also inherent in many other foods such as veggies, dairy products and whole grains. While it’s still considered “sugar”, naturally occurring sugar is something that can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy diet. It gives us energy and, unlike added sugar, it’s found in foods that provide vitamins and minerals, which are essential for keeping our bodies functioning well.
3. Stops us from snacking on unhealthy choices
Most of us experience the 3pm slump. The cravings for an unhealthy sugar hit creeps in and you’re more tempted than ever to reach for chocolate and sweets. Having fresh, seasonal fruit available to grab and go is the best way to curb those unhealthy snacking habits. As well as being delicious, high fibre fruits such as apples, pears and berries are known for making us feel fuller after eating them, meaning that we’re less likely to get hunger pangs and reach for the pastries.
4. Helps reduce the risk of serious illness
While no single food can prevent cancer on its own, a balanced plant-based diet filled with fresh fruit and vegetables can help lower the risk for many types of cancers, according to the Australian Cancer Council. Including 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables in your diet each day also reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
5. Loaded with vitamins and minerals
Fruit contains a myriad of essential vitamins and minerals for good health.
- Vitamin C: A strong antioxidant that protects and strengthens the immune system. Found commonly in all citrus fruits.
- Vitamin A: Fights infections, inflammation and helps with the brain, heart, kidney and immune function. Found commonly in stone fruits like apricots and peaches.
- Vitamin E: Strengthens immunity, eyesight and encourages healthy skin. Found commonly in berries and kiwi fruit.
- Potassium: Supports blood pressure, cardiovascular health and decreases fatigue. Found commonly in most fruits.
6. Great for Gut Health
What fruit do we include and why?
At Lite n’ Easy, we include a variety of fruit across our menus. Oranges, kiwifruits, apples, mandarins, melon, pineapple, strawberries, grapes, fruit cups and dried fruit are all used throughout the week. These fruits have been carefully selected for the Lite n’ Easy menu to ensure nutritious, seasonal and varied combinations.
Dried fruit is more concentrated and can often be more calorie-dense. However it is still very nutritious with all the fruity goodness and adds great flavour to meals such as salads, main meals like curries, snacks and in breakfasts such as Bircher Muesli.
Fruit cups are used throughout the menu for additional variety. Many people assume fruit cups are not as healthy as fresh fruit because they are processed and contain more sugar. However, the canning process retains all of the nutrients, and the fruit is packed in juice rather than syrup, so they provide all of the nutritional benefits of fresh fruit.
There are some fruits such as bananas and stone fruits which aren’t currently included in our meal plans due to seasonality and because they generally don’t transport well and can become discoloured when refrigerated.
What’s in a serve?
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend 2 serves of fruit daily which is what the full Lite n’ Easy meal plans provide.
One serve is approximately 150g. A good indicator of correct serving size is whether the fruit fits into the palm of your hand.
Get creative with your fruit
Eating fruit is often a habit that needs to be acquired. Finding creative ways to get your two serves of fruit daily can make eating it easier and more enjoyable.
- Cut up your fresh fruit and add to yoghurt
- Freeze your grapes
- Add fruit cups to cereal
- Slice up your orange and add to sparkling water
- Blend fruit and turn into a smoothie or ice-blocks
- Grate apple into porridge or Bircher Muesli
How Lite n’ Easy can help!
The single most important dietary change you can make to be healthier is to eat five serves of veggies and two serves of fruit each day. But it can be hard, which is why Lite n’ Easy’s complete meal solutions are the way to go. You’ll get to eat the right foods in the right portions throughout the day and get your daily 5+2 simply by enjoying our complete solution with a huge range of delicious meals. Give us a call on 13 15 12 or click here to order now.