Are Apples Good for Weight Loss? What a Dietitian Says

Are Apples Good for Weight Loss? What a Dietitian Says

When you open any social media app, you will come across a range of weight-loss tips and diets promising weight-loss results. With so much information out there, it’s easy to forget that some everyday foods can add volume to your meals and snacks without adding many calories and help you reach a healthy weight.

Pictured Recipe: Crab & Apple Salad with Brown Butter Vinaigrette

Apples are an excellent option for a healthy weight-loss diet. The sweet and tart fruit is budget-friendly, convenient and loaded with nutrients. Find out why apples might have an edge when it comes to losing weight with input from two registered dietitians.

Johnny Autry

Does Eating Apples Help You Lose Weight?

Like all foods, apples alone don’t promote weight loss, but when you include them with various nutritious foods, they could help you lose weight. To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you expend. That being said, there are many characteristics of apples that make them a weight-loss-friendly food. Let’s take a look!

How Apples Promote Healthy Weight Loss

Low in Calories

Apples help to promote weight loss because they are naturally low in calories. Depending on size, apples provide 80 to 130 calories per fruit. The natural sugars in apples can also help keep cravings for sweets at bay, according to Melissa Mitri, M.S., RDN, a nutrition writer and owner of Melissa Mitri Nutrition.

High in Fiber

As noted above, the main mechanism in weight loss is reducing your calorie intake. Foods that have fiber can help you eat less because they are satiating.

Apples are one of these foods that promote fullness. According to the USDA, an apple packs 4 to 5 grams of fiber, providing about 12% to 16% of your recommended daily fiber intake. Mitri adds, “[Apples] are incredibly filling and could help curb hunger, making it easier to stay calorie deficient for weight loss.” According to a 2019 article in The Journal of Nutrition, research has shown that dietary fiber promotes weight loss and adherence to diets.

Low-Glycemic Food

The glycemic index, a relative ranking system, measures how fast and how much certain foods’ sugars raise your blood sugar levels. According to the American Diabetes Association, apples are a low-glycemic food, with a glycemic index between 34 and 38, depending on the variety, meaning they won’t cause major blood sugar spikes after eating. Plus, a diet made up of low-glycemic foods may include more nutritious foods, like whole grains, fruits and veggies, known to support sustainable weight loss.

High in Fluids

Apples are so juicy because of their high water content, with water making up 85% to 86% of their weight. Along with fiber, the moisture in apples keeps you full and hydrated, helping temper your appetite.

Rich in Antioxidants

One of the reasons you could experience weight gain could be due to increased inflammation in the body, triggering other physiological effects like insulin resistance, changes in metabolism and more. Eating anti-inflammatory foods like apples could help you reduce chronic inflammation, potentially helping you reduce the added weight.

Apples have anti-inflammatory benefits due to their antioxidant nutrients. A 2022 review in the Journal of Inflammation Research indicates that quercetin, a type of antioxidant flavonoid (plant pigment) found in apples, may have anti-inflammatory properties to ward off insulin resistance and the development of atherosclerosis. Another study published in the same year in Foods suggests that flavonoids can also be found in the peel of certain types of apples, like the Fuji apple variety.

Convenient Snack

Apples are a quick and convenient snack that you will need to chew and swallow, pacing you so you can fully listen to your body for fullness cues. And due to the benefits above, they can hold you over between meals and prevent overeating.

Other Benefits of Apples

In addition to being a great fruit to eat when trying to lose weight, apples may provide other health benefits, such as:

  • Protect your heart
  • Boost brain health
  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Fight cancer

How to Enjoy Apples While Managing a Healthy Weight

Apples have beneficial nutrients your body needs, but eating the fruit alone can’t help promote weight loss. Rather, eating a wide array of foods that includes nutritious carbs, protein and unsaturated fats could support managing a healthy weight.

Here are some tips on how you can enjoy apples on their own as a snack or pair them with weight-loss-friendly foods:

Frequently Asked Questions

Do apples burn belly fat?

While apples may support weight loss, they don’t directly burn belly fat. The best way to reduce any body fat is to be in a calorie-deficient state. This can happen by lowering caloric intake or increasing physical activity or doing both.

What fruits are the best for weight loss?

All fruits can be a part of your balanced meal pattern because they contain naturally occurring sugars, helping reduce cravings for sugary, high-calorie foods. In addition to apples, berries such as blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are great fruits for weight loss due to their low sugar, high fiber and antioxidant content.

How many apples a day do you need to lose weight?

There’s no specific amount of apples needed per day to lose weight. However, eating one or two apples each day, along with a balanced diet, may help you lose weight.

The Bottom Line

Apples can support weight loss for a few reasons: they are low in calories, rich in antioxidants, contain fiber and are naturally sweet, promoting satiety and helping ward off cravings for sweets. Apples alone can’t achieve weight loss, but you can support your goal by combining them with a healthy and balanced diet. Other lifestyle factors that help support weight loss include engaging in exercise, managing your stress and having quality sleep and getting the support to overcome certain systematic barriers like food insecurity. We recommend that you speak with a registered dietitian to help you healthily achieve your weight-loss goals and keep the excess weight off.