When it comes to losing weight, slimmers can choose from a long list of plans. Some may opt for a structured plan like the low-carb keto diet, while others may decide to cut items out of their diet like Great British Bake Off presenter Sandi Toksvig, who ditched sugar and lost four stone. While removing sugar from a diet is a good idea, leading nutritionist Lily Soutter says dieters need to be careful when choosing what foods to remove from their diet as they may be removing a vital food group.
Lily is a London nutritionist, who specialises in workplace wellness and the tools needed to make practical, sustainable and positive dietary changes regardless of a busy schedule. She has frequently appeared on ITV’s This Morning with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, she revealed that a lot of dieters decide to cut down on their fruit consumption due to the sugar content.
However, fruits contain vital elements which contribute to a healthy diet, and can also speed up the weight loss process.
She said: “There is a lot of confusion as to whether we need to hold back on fruit consumption due to the sugar content. You may have heard rumours such as ‘bananas make you fat’ or that ‘fruit is high in sugar therefore unhealthy’. However this is simply a myth.
“Fruit sugar is locked into a fibrous matrix, which can help to slow the release of sugar into the blood stream. Fruit also provides key vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which support health.”
How much fruit is enough?
Calories differ for various fruits.
While one medium banana contains 105 calories, a medium grapefruit only contains 42 calories.
That’s not to say dieters should go without bananas, as they are packed with nutrients.
High in fibre, bananas are a great alternative to sugary breakfast cereals.
Soluble fibre, which is found in fruit, vegetables, oats and pulses, helps to slow down the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed by the body and can help to lower cholesterol.
According to healthline.com soluble fibre can reduce belly fat, with one study linking a 10g increase in daily soluble fibre intake to a 3.7 per cent lower risk of gaining belly fat.
To ensure dieters are eating enough fruit daily, Lily advises them to use portion control.
“If you’re unsure of how much fruit to consume per day, you could aim for three portions of vegetables and two portions of fruit,” she explained.
Lily recently spoke to Express.co.uk about the importance of eating a diet rich in fibre.
She said: “On average, in the UK we’re only consuming 18g fibre per day when we are advised to aim for at least 30g. Put simply, if we’re not consuming our ‘five a day’ and are falling short on whole grains, beans, pulses, nut and seeds, we may also limit our fibre intake.”