Eating fresh fruits and vegetable is still rule number one when it comes to staying healthy, but a recent research suggests that starchy vegetables may render even your most ambitious weight loss plans completely useless.
A team of researchers from Harvard School of Public Health, found tat starchy veggies are by far the most fattening vegetables around. The nutritionists based their findings on data from 130,000 Americans who were surveyed on their diets, TV watching habits, level of exercise, alcohol use, BMI, and failed weight loss plans.
The team found that participants who reported routinely eating starchy vegetables such as potatoes, peas, corn, pumpkin, and zucchini had great difficulties in shedding those extra pounds or even gained weight.
Thee study participants were monitored for 24 years, while every four years they had to answer a survey on how often they consumed more than 100 different types of foods. Investigators also monitored their weight on a regular basis.
Study authors learned that participants who reported eating more fruits were more likely to lose weight than those on a veggie diet. Researchers found that for every extra daily intake of fruit, participants lost half a pound in a 4-year period.
Blueberries helped even more with weight loss. According to the study, every extra portion of these fruits was linked to a pound and a half of weight loss during the same period. The next in line were apples, strawberries, prunes, and pears.
Researchers believe that the newly discovered associations may be explained by people’s habit of eating these fruits rather than going for that fattening desert. Additionally, some of these fruits contain high levels of polyphenols which boost metabolism.
Among the veggies, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and cauliflower were the champions of weight loss.
But potatoes and corn are richer in calories due to their high content of starch. These vegetables were associated with weight gain in most participants who reported consuming them. Dr. Monica Bertoia, one of the researchers involved in the study, recommends replacing starchy veggies with brown rice and wholemeal bread.
Study authors acknowledged that the changes in metabolism were minor when compared with each daily intake of starchy vegetables. But two or three servings of these vegetables a day or several days in a row were linked to significant weight change.
And this finding didn’t surprise nutritionists. It is known for years that starchy vegetables can lead to diabetes and weight gain due to their high glycemic index (GI)
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