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Berries provide nutrients without a lot of calories.
If you crave something sweet while on a diet, blueberries and strawberries may help you deal with your craving without consuming lots of empty calories. These berries are lower in energy density than other sugary alternatives you could consume when you have a craving for sweets. They also provide more fiber and essential nutrients, making them a much healthier alternative than sweets and baked goods.
For each 1-gram increase in fiber per 1,000 calories consumed, participants lost about 0.5 pound during the course of a 20-month study, which was published in "The Journal of Nutrition" in March 2009. A cup of sliced strawberries contains 3.5 grams of fiber, and a cup of blueberries provides 3.6 grams. This is about 14 percent of the daily value for fiber. Fiber helps fill you up without adding calories and slows down the emptying of your stomach so you feel full for longer. This can make it easier for you to eat less so you lose weight.
Foods that are low in energy density contain very few calories per gram, allowing you to eat a larger volume of food without going over your daily calorie budget. Because it is the volume of food rather than the amount of calories you consume that influences how full you feel, this means you'll be less likely to feel hungry if you fill up on low-energy density foods. The high water and fiber content and low fat content of strawberries and blueberries make them low in energy density, with only 0.32 calorie per gram for strawberries and 0.57 calorie per gram for blueberries.
Use During a Diet
To get the most benefit from strawberries and blueberries, use these berries to replace other foods that are higher in energy density. Instead of having a large bowl of ice cream, have a bowl of berries topped with a small scoop of ice cream. Mix berries into your cereal in the morning, or snack on berries mixed with a small amount of plain low-fat yogurt instead of eating higher-calorie sugar-sweetened varieties of yogurt.
Keep in mind that eating too much of any food could result in you consuming too many calories and interfere with weight loss. However, both strawberries and blueberries are nutrient-dense. Strawberries, for example, provide 163 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and 10 percent of the DV for folate, and blueberries offer 24 percent of the DV for vitamin C and 36 percent of the DV for vitamin K. Choosing these fruits during your weight-loss plan instead of other less-nutrient-packed foods will help you meet the recommended intake for micronutrients, which can be hard to do while on a reduced-calorie diet.