Eat These Fruits and Vegetables to Lose Weight and Keep It Off

The more servings of fruits and vegetables you eat every day the better, for both losing weight and keeping it off over the years, current research tells us. But certain fruit snd specific vegetables help more than others in warding off weight gain and aiding in weight loss. Here’s what to know before heading to the produce aisle. The biggest surprise: Fruit beats vegetables when it comes to the number of pounds these natural whole foods help you lose.

After studying a wide population over 24 years, checking in with them at regular intervals to find out exactly what they were eating and whether the types of fruits and vegetables made a difference in the battle against obesity. The researchers found this: Overall, the more daily servings of fruits and vegetables you eat the better but not all fruit and vegetables have the same impact.

Study subjects followed over near a quarter-century-long period who ate the most berries, citrus, and cruciferous vegetables also had the least amount of weight gain over that time: half a pound for fruit eaters and a quarter pound for vegetable lovers. Starchy vegetables with a high glycemic index did not have the same level of benefit, the study found. Fruit juice was not as helpful as the whole fruit, presumably because the juice lacks the same amount of fiber – and it’s the high fiber content that helps keep you full for longer, they added.

The researchers, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, tracked over 133,000 people and checked in every 4 years, and the ones who ate the most fruits and vegetables lost the most weight and kept it off, a study found. Increased intake of berries was linked to a 1.11-pound lower weight gain and increased intake of citrus fruits led to a 0.27-pound lower gain.

Additionally eating more plant-based protein was beneficial, the researchers found: Adding a daily serving of tofu or soy was linked to 2.47 pounds less weight gained – while eating more apples or pears led to 1.24 pounds less weight gained. Carrots and peppers were also linked to smaller gains, but potatoes, peas, and corn were not, because of those starchy foods’ glycemic index, which is the amount of sugar available and how quickly it enters the bloodstream.

Bottom Line: An increase in fruit intake is associated with a healthy weight

When choosing what foods to eat for weight loss or to maintain a healthy weight, choose higher-fiber, lower-glycemic load vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts as well as fruits like berries and fewer higher-glycemic vegetables such as carrots and cabbage.

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