Want to drop a few pounds? It may sound counterintuitive, but there’s a before-meal snack that can give your weight-loss efforts a boost.

A recent study published in the journal Nutrition divided women into two groups. One group got an apple or a pear before meals, while the other group got an oat cookie. Aside from that, both groups were on the same reduced-calorie diet for 12 weeks.

At the end of the 12 weeks, the fruit eaters had lost an average of more than 2.6 pounds, while the cookie crunchers had insignificant weight loss. What’s more, the fruit eaters had a greater decrease in blood sugar levels.

Researchers believe the weight-loss secret of apples and pears lies in their high-water, high-fiber, yet low-calorie composition.

Shape up your health with organic apples and pears. But make sure you’re conscious of your sugar intake. A medium apple has 14 grams of sugar (72 calories, 19 carbs, 3 grams of fiber). A medium pear has 16 grams of sugar (96 calories, 26 carbs, 5 grams of fiber).

[Ed. Note: Kelley Herring is the founder and CEO of Healing Gourmet (www.healinggourmet.com), and is editor-in-chief of the Healing Gourmet book series. Learn more about how simple lifestyle choices can improve your health by reading ETR’s free natural health e-letter.]

Kelley Herring

Kelley Herring is the Founder & CEO of Healing Gourmet – a multimedia company that educates on how foods promote health and protect against disease. As a young adult, Kelley battled a debilitating health condition that went misdiagnosed by multiple doctors for more than a year. Finding no help from “modern medicine”, she turned to her own knowledge of biochemistry and her passion for health research. She soon learned that her symptoms were related to nutrition and within weeks, she charted a course back to health with nothing more than simple lifestyle changes and the power of the plate. The lessons she learned spawned the creation of Healing Gourmet. Kelley is a firm believer in vigorous exercise, moderate sun exposure and delicious, healthy, home-cooked meals. She is also the creator of Healing Gourmet’s Personalized Nutrition Software and Editor-in-Chief of the Healing Gourmet book series published by McGraw-Hill including Eat to Fight Cancer, Eat to Beat Diabetes, Eat to Lower Cholesterol and Eat to Boost Fertility.

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