Can eating certain fruits and vegetables help you in your quest for weight loss?

A recent study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, reveals that a few fruits and vegetables can help maintain or control body weight.

The longitudinal study, conducted at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston and led by Dr. Monica Bertoia, revealed that that certain fruits and vegetables may be more or less beneficial for maintaining or achieving a healthy weight.

The researchers also found that an extra serving of fruit a day can lead to a weight loss of 0.24 kg as compared to the 0.11 kg lost with an extra serving of vegetables during the course of the study.

The research revealed that consuming fruits and vegetable with a higher fibre content or lower glycemic load – a number that estimates how much the food will raise a person’s blood glucose level after eating it – would be more likely to lead to a healthy weight than consumption of those with a lower fibre content or higher glycemic load.

nutritionMore than 70 items were included in the study, with care taken to include fruits and vegetables with similar nutritional values such as apples and pears. The fruit categories included citrus, melon, and berries; vegetables were classified into cruciferous, green leafy, and legumes.

All fruits and vegetables were classified as high or low fibre, and as high or low GL. This was calculated by multiplying the carbohydrate content of each fruit/vegetable (grams per serving) by the glycemic index of that fruit/vegetable.

The researchers found that overall, eating an extra portion of fruit a day led to a weight loss of 0.24 kg, while eating an extra daily portion of vegetables brought a weight loss of 0.11 kg.

Fruits overall – especially berries, apples and pears – contributed to greater weight loss compared with vegetables.

Greater weight loss was linked to higher fibre, lower-glycemic vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

The study also revealed that lower fibre, higher-glycemic and starchy vegetables, including corn, peas, potatoes, carrots and cabbage, were linked to weight gain.

Fruits to eat: Blueberries, strawberries, apples, pears

Veggies to eat: Artichoke, asparagus, cucumber, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bottle gourd

Veggies to eat

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Written by Sumita Thomas

Sumita Thomas

For Sumita Thomas, good nutrition advice is less about what NOT to eat and all about HOW to eat. Armed with a master’s degree in clinical nutrition and dietetics from IGNOU, Sumita has worked with multi-specialty clinics and corporate clients, planning calorie-specific menus for their cafeterias. She’s also a certified diabetes educator, has worked in cardiac nutrition and is even a TUV-certified internal auditor for food safety management systems. Maybe that’s why she ensures her advice is always scientifically sound, which makes her a perfect fit for us at HealthifyMe. Of the belief that a healthy lifestyle can be achieved with the combination of a healthy mind, body and diet, Sumita recommends setting realistic goals – one health target a day – and gradually incorporating healthy ingredients to your daily diet. Does she practice what she preaches? For sure, and ensures all those around her do too. So get set, because that now includes you!

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