You Shouldn't Eat All Your Veggies If You're Trying to Lose Weight

woman eating healthy mealOh, dear. You know how experts are always pushing for more fruits and veggies in our diets? And telling us how THAT'S key to losing weight? Well, science-y people have announced a kinda big footnote to that. Apparently, eating certain vegetables can make you GAIN weight.

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You can totally file this under "What the f***?!" Not ALL vegetables affect your weight the same way. And that's kinda good to know, because at this EXACT moment, over 60 percent of Americans are now overweight or obese.

Obviously, we need all the insight we can get. We just didn't think it would be this.

In a new article published in the journal PLOS Medicine, researchers from Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston laid out the results of a 24-year study that followed the fruit- and veggie-eating habits of over 133,000 men and women.

For the study, fruits and vegetables were classified as high and low fiber, as well as high and low glycemic load (GL). Foods with a high GL cause your blood sugar to spike and can make it harder for you to lose weight. (Some infamous high GL foods include candy, pizza, and processed fruit juice, which is basically no more than a melted Popsicle.)

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The study participants indicated how frequently they ate fruits and veggies and also tracked their weight. Then, researchers crunched the data. Which seems appropriate, given that the study is about fruits and -- oh, never mind ...

Here's what they found:

Eating an extra portion of fruit each day -- particularly berries, apples, and pears -- actually helped people lose weight. So did eating higher-fiber, low GL vegs like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

But low-fiber, starchy veggies that have a higher GL actually caused weight GAIN. The culprits: Corn. Peas. Cabbage. And everyone's favorite vegetable when it's cut into sticks, fried, and salted: Potatoes.

True, the change in weight was fairly small. But researchers caution that an extra serving of "good" or "bad" fruits and veggies (our terms, not theirs) could make a difference over the long run.

And they DO suggest putting a kibosh on fruit juice (high GL, remember?) and fried potatoes.

We're guessing that there's no need to ban corn salsa or cole slaw from your house altogether. After all, ALL veggies provide nutrients that reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. And only 8.9 percent of Americans get enough in their diet. Which fast food CEOs might see as a victory, but which we find, well, ridiculous.

But when it comes to choosing what vegetables you steam for dinner, throw in a stir-fry, or add to your salad, do your weight a favor and opt for the more colorful, preferably green ones.

 

Image via monkeybusinessimages/iStock

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