Obesity is a serious concern for Americans, with more than 66% of the Americans currently being classified as obese. But for those that are interested in reversing or changing that course, there may be some easy options to try! According to the journal of PLOS Medicine and a recent study, the results showed that certain vegetables and fruits can help control body weight.
As many people know, being obese or overweight may cause life-threatening chronic diseases. With lifestyle changes that have more people sitting more, moving less and consuming higher calorie foods as well as more of them, well – the result is not good. Following a proper diet and exercise can help maintain your body weight and fat.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued their 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Have you seen them? These guidelines identified fruits and vegetables that can help adults and children control body weight.
Fruits and Vegetables for Weight Loss
According to Dr. Monica Bertoia, there is strong evidence that certain fruits and vegetables help prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Bertoia’s team has proven that eating fruits and vegetables with a lower glycemic load and higher fiber content can help you attain a healthy weight, as compared to consuming food which have higher glycemic load and lower fiber content.
More than 70 Vegetables and Fruits Were Studied
The study that was done included over 100,000 Americans, both men and women, who work in the health profession and were willing to participate in the survey. The participants had no history of chronic diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or cancer. Still, adjustments were made for participants who were found to have any chronic diseases during the survey.
Participants reported about the weight loss and turned in answered questionnaires in generally 4-year intervals over a 24 year period. The survey ran from 1986 to 2010. Fruits and vegetables with the same nutritional value were combined. The survey contained questions about the frequency of consumption, types of fruits and vegetables as well as adjusting for various lifestyle and health changes with the participants.
Fruits and vegetables were classified with low or high fiber, and low or high GL. The carbohydrate content was multiplied with the glycemic index of each respective fruit and vegetable.
Vegetables were classified into green leafy, cruciferous, and legumes; and fruits were also categorized as melon, citrus, and berry according to the same nutritional content. Only whole fruits were considered, and juice was left out due to the added sugar. The study also included unprocessed potatoes, leaving out the fried potatoes.
Adjustments were made according to lifestyle changes of each participant. These include smoking, alcohol consumption, sleeping times, sitting for hours, and even watching TV.
Starchy Vegetables Lead to Weight Gain
Researchers found that eating extra portions of vegetable lead to 0.11kg of weight loss, and extra portions of fruit lead to 0.24kg weight loss. Higher fiber with lower glycemic vegetables gave higher weight loss results within the participants. This was especially observed in those that consumed cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower.
Fiber and glycemic value were associated to weight loss. Starchy vegetables such as organic sweet potatoes, yam and whole grain products give you a higher GL, which tended to result in weight gain. Meanwhile, they also provide nutrients such as Vitamin C, protein, fiber, iron, and potassium.
It should be noted that the study was conducted with limitations. All participants were white and professional. The rate of weight differences observed was small. Though it is still important to remember that intake of small portions of fruits and vegetables can have a good long term impact that would help you maintain your ideal weight.