We’re frequently told that to improve our health and achieve a healthy body weight we need to et more fruit and vegetables, however new research says that not all fruit and veg are created equal.
Researchers from Harvard University found that some plant fodder helps you lose weight, while others can actually pack on the pounds – even when you think you’re doing the right thing.
The study involved more than 133,000 people and included dietary and weight questionnaires over a 24-year period. Lifestyle factors such as smoking, physical activity and overall diet were accounted for.
Researchers found that people who ate a serving of blueberries every day lost more than half a kilogram over a four-year period.
Other fruits associated with weight loss were pears, apples, strawberries and grapes.
Meanwhile, those who ate an extra serving of corn each day gained nearly a kilogram in the same period.
Other starchy vegetables such as potatoes and peas saw similar results, while non-starchy veg like broccoli and beans helped people maintain or lose weight.
Writing in PLOS Medicine, lead author Monica Bertoia from Harvard’s School of Public Health said, “The benefits of increased consumption were greater for fruits than for vegetables and strongest for berries, apples/pears, tofu/soy, cauliflower, and cruciferous and green leafy vegetables”.
Peas, corn and potatoes feature on many an Australian dining table, but does this mean they are off the menu?
“Although these vegetables have nutritional value (potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, fibre, and protein), they have a higher glycaemic load (lower carbohydrate quality) that could explain their positive association with weight change,” writes Ms Bertoia.
Australian nutritionist Rosemary Stanton told Fairfax Media the association could have something to do with the fact these veggies are more likely to come coated in butter or something else delicious, but generally agrees with the findings.
Only one in 10 Australians eats the recommended five serves of vegetables per day, so we’d better make sure we’re eating the right ones!
Is your favourite vegetable on the “hit” or “miss” list? Could this new information help your weight loss efforts?