A new study has found that eating non-starchy vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and broccoli will help you lose more weight than eating potatoes, corn and peas.
• Researchers followed 133.000 Americans for 24 years for the study.
• Starchy vegetables caused participating subjects to gain weight, whereas non-starchy vegetables did not.
• Fiber may also benefit a diet already rich in romaine lettuce and peppers.
Health-conscious consumers may want to know that not all fruits and vegetables have the same health benefits. A team of researchers from Harvard University came to this conclusion after looking at data collected from more than 133.000 American subjects, both men and women.
The researchers followed them for up to 24 years, and took into account lifestyle factors such as smoking status and time spent doing physical exercises.
The results showed that the more fruits and non-starchy vegetables a subject ate on a daily basis, the more their risk of gaining excessive weight went down.
What’s more, Monica Bertoia, field expert from Harvard University’s School of Public Health, as well as Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston), gave a statement informing that subjects who were in the habit of consuming starchy vegetables on a daily basis were linked to weight gain.
The authors wrote in their study that the new research provides “further food-specific guidance for the prevention of obesity, a primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancers and many other health conditions”.
And the nutrition experts aren’t surprised by the findings. Erin Keane, registered dietitian as well as assistant clinical nutrition manager from Lenox Hill Hospital (New York), gave a statement of her own saying that the different between starchy vegetables and non-starchy vegetables is linked to what field expert refer to as “glycemic load”.
She went on to explain that foods that have a lower glycemic load are suspected of producing fewer blood glucose spikes. This in turn can decrease hunger, and even “reduce total calorie intake over the course of a day”.
Vegetables that match the lower glycemic load description include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, romaine lettuce, peppers, kale, cauliflower, chard, spinach, and tofu / soy.
It’s important to mention that Keane believes that fiber may play an important role too. Once, Bertoia, Keane, and the rest of their colleagues factored out potatoes, they noticed that vegetables which are rich in fiber also helped subjects keep their weight in check.
As far fruits go, berries seem to be the ones that have the lowest glycemic load and make it easier for people to keep excess weight off.
The researcher team did mention that the study subjects were all white adults, well-educated and relatively healthy, so the findings can not be generalized to all individuals.
The findings were published earlier this week, on Tuesday (September 22, 2015), in the journal PLOS Medicine.
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