We often hear about how eating fruits and vegetables is good, because it is good for your heart and blood vessels, and cuts your risk of cancer and stroke. Often we forget about how eating fruits and vegetables also helps you control your weight, and today’s study gives some interesting details about which fruits or vegetables are especially good for that purpose.
The study, published September 22, 2015 in PLOS Medicine by researchers from Harvard University Medical School, involved analysis of the medical and dietary records of over 133,000 men and women. They were followed by periodic exams and dietary surveys from 1986 until 2010.
Every four years each participant was weighed. It was found that a man’s weight increased an average of 1 kg. every 4 years, and women slightly more than that. But importantly, the researchers noted that the more fruit and vegetables each subject ate, the less weight they gained over the years.
They found that fruits were better than vegetables for weight control. For every additional daily serving of vegetable a participant consumed, their weight gain was diminished by 1/8 kg. over each 4 year period. For each additional daily serving of fruits consumed, the weight gain was diminished by a more impressive ¼ kg.
They found that certain fruits and vegetable were better than others for weight control. Here is the summary:
Best for controlling weight:
Berries, citrus, tofu, apples, pears, carrots, and pimentão
Fruits and vegetables that may cause weight gain:
Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, and peas.
Note that fruit juices do not help control weight: they actually lead to weight gain, since they are full of simple carbohydrates and don’t have fiber. Much of the reason that fruits and vegetables are great for weight control is that they contain fiber, and the more the better.
Fiber helps with satiety, and real fruits and vegetables often have a low glycemic index, meaning they cause a slow rise in your sugar level after eating. This is good for your insulin metabolism, and leads to less hunger cravings.
So if you are trying to keep your weight under control, remember the importance of eating lots of fruits and vegetables. For weight control, it’s best to eat multiple servings per day. While fruits are better than vegetables for controlling weight, most all fruits and vegetables are good for you. You might try to emphasize the ones on the list above, but the important thing is to eat them.
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