9 Fruits You Need To Add To Your Smoothie To Lose Weight: Eat This, Not That

Fruit mixed in a protein shake makes for a great weight loss shake without having to be sweetened with sugar-added nut milk, flavored yogurt, honey, or some other sweetener. But like any sweetener, fruit contains sugar, so if you add too many high-sugar fruits to your smoothie, you can still raise your blood sugar.

Hence, fruit smoothies can be a slippery track for people hoping to lose weight. That’s why many of the dieticians on our medical review committee offer warnings when their customers are looking for smoothies to help them lose weight. Protein shakes are best used as a meal replacement, rather than as a snack, as your ultimate goal is to hit a calorie deficit by the end of the day. But as a meal replacement, smoothies should contain fewer calories than the meals they replace.

Julie Upton, MS, RD, co-founder of Appetite for Health Consulting, is one of the registered dieticians on our board who avoids shakes for weight loss. “Eat your calories rather than drink them,” he advises. Drinks can be loaded with calories that you don’t realize are there, as you’ll learn by reading 40 drinks you should never drink after 40.

Registered nutrition dieticians Tammy Lakatos Shame, RDN, CDN and Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, known as The Nutrition Twins, agree that whole fruits prevail over those whipped into smoothies. They warn that overloading a smoothie with too much fruit could turn your healthful drink into a calorie bomb. “Drinking your calories isn’t as satisfying as when you eat real food and you end up eating more calories over the course of the day,” they say.

As long as you are careful about the ingredients that go into your smoothie and the portion size you consume, fruit-based smoothies can still be part of an effective weight loss strategy. The key is to keep track of the number of calories your ingredients make. To this end, avoid high calorie bananas and avocados and favor low calorie, low sugar fruits with high water content to provide sweetness without the heavy calorie load. Here are the fruits you should add to your smoothies, and for more information on how to eat healthily, don’t miss out on the best No. 1 to drink every day, says science.

delicious red apples

An apple is an ideal snack to take with you. For one, it won’t squash in your backpack like grapes and berries do. And if you eat the peel, it’s high in fiber, which makes an apple a “low glycemic index” food. “GI” stands for glycemic index, a scale from 0 to 100 that shows how much a food will raise its blood sugar within two hours of eating. With a GI of 36, apples are quite low. Eating a whole apple is the best way to reap its weight loss benefits. But blending the apple chunks into a smoothie isn’t a bad second choice. A delicious red apple contains around 62 calories and 12 grams of natural sugar.

BlueberriesBlueberries
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Blueberries contain more antioxidants than any other popular smoothie. One called pterostilbene, which is similar to the resveratrol in grapes, has been shown to stimulate liver cells to help break down fat and cholesterol, according to USDA scientists. A cup of blueberries contains only 64 calories and 9.3 grams of sugar and a bushel full of nutrients, including fiber. You can’t go wrong by putting a handful in your daily smoothie or munching on it as a snack. Anthocyanins that give blueberries their deep blue color are potent phytochemicals associated with improved weight maintenance and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, according to Advances in Nutrition.

RELATED: Secret Effects of Eating Blueberries, Science Says

CantaloupeCantaloupe
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Ripe, juicy cantaloupe is nearly 90% water and high in dietary fiber, making it an ideal fruit for your weight loss-promoting smoothie, as long as you don’t load your smoothie with high-calorie additions. including nut butters. One cup of cantaloupe contains 12.6 grams of sugar and 60 calories, which isn’t much for all the nutrients, including beta-carotene, folic acid, vitamin C, and potassium you’re getting.

sour cherriessour cherries
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If you haven’t tried cherries in your smoothie, you’re missing out; they are delicious. Just don’t forget to rattle them off first. Cherries in particular are a great slimming fruit because not only are they low in calories and sugar (a half cup contains only 48 calories and 10 grams of sugar), but they are rich in antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins that fight free radicals that contribute to various chronic inflammatory diseases related to obesity. A review of the health benefits of cherries in the journal Nutrients found that consuming cherries reduced exercise-induced muscle pain and loss of strength, blood pressure and arthritis, improved sleep, and reduced ultra-low-density lipoprotein, the worst type of bad cholesterol, and triglycerides.

plate of kiwiplate of kiwi
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It’s not the most popular smoothie, but it’s worth a try. Kiwifruit is a good source of fiber, providing at least 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving, which can help reduce the impact of the fruit’s sugar on blood sugar. But don’t peel the fruit; most of the fiber is found in brown skin. Cut it into chunks and blend it well in a blender. Small studies suggest that regular kiwifruit consumption can reduce body fat mass and lower blood pressure. One serving of kiwifruit contains 64 calories and 9 grams of sugar.

GrapeGrape
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A 12-week study involving 91 obese patients demonstrated the potential of consuming fresh grapefruit as a powerful weight loss strategy. Research in the Journal of Medicinal Foods showed that people who ate half a fresh grapefruit before meals lost an average of 3.5 pounds in 12 weeks. The study found that the subjects’ insulin response also improved. So, if your goal is weight loss, you might want to try keeping half of the grapefruit on hand during meals. Another option: make a grapefruit-based smoothie as a meal replacement. A half cup of grapefruit sections with juice contains only 37 calories and 8.5 grams of sugars.

RELATED: Surprising Side Effects of Eating Grapefruit, According to Dietitians

strawberries and raspberriesstrawberries and raspberries
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Nature’s candies are rich in vitamin C for immune strength and are rich in water and fiber, making them a great weight maintenance fruit. Strawberries have 49 calories, 7 grams of sugar, and about 3 grams of fiber per 1-cup serving. Raspberries are even lower in sugar at just 2.6 grams per 57-calorie and ¾ cup serving. They don’t last long in the fridge, so keep your freezer stocked with a bag. Frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries) are just as nutritious as fresh ones.

watermelon cubeswatermelon cubes
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Watermelon is an example of a fruit that has a high glycemic index but is actually fine for people who are overweight or have high blood sugar because it is high in water and fiber and low in carbohydrates. A 2019 study in the journal Nutrients compared overweight people who ate daily watermelon snacks or low-fat cookies for four weeks. The researchers found that watermelon made subjects less hungry after eating and decreased body weight, BMI, blood pressure, and waist-to-hip ratio by the end of the study. One cup of watermelon provides only 45 calories and about 9 grams of sugar. Check out these 8 best smoothie recipes for managing your blood sugar.

Jeff Csatari

Jeff Csatari, a contributing writer on Eat This, Not That !, is responsible for editing Galvanized Media books and magazines and advising journalism students through the Zinczenko New Media Center at Moravian University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Read more