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Which is Better for Weight Loss: Fruits or Veggies?

Though the study authors aren’t sure why fruits trumped vegetables for weight loss, considering that fruit often has more calories than the green stuff

The answer may surprise you.


By Zahra Barnes, Women's Health

Weight Loss 101: Loading your diet with fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to jumpstart weight loss. But which kind of produce would come out ahead in a pounds-dropping smack down? Though non-starchy veggies, like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and kale are helpful for slimming down, as it turns out, fruits like berries, apples, and pears reign supreme when you’re trying to lose weight, according to a new study published in the journal PLOS Medicine

To find out what kinds of healthy eats are the most scale-friendly, the study authors tracked the weight of 133,468 American men and women, between 1986 and 2010. Every four years, the participants completed a diet and lifestyle questionnaire that helped the researchers adjust for factors like smoking, how often people watched TV, and their intake of items like fried potatoes, juice, and processed meats in addition to fruits and vegetables.

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First, the good news: Your smoothies are probably packed with weight-loss superstars! Researchers found that each extra daily serving of fruit was associated with a .53-pound weight loss. More specifically, every additional daily serving of apples and pears was linked to losing 1.24 pounds, while each serving of berries was connected to a 1.11 pound drop on the scale.

As for vegetables, a general increased intake was connected to losing .25 pounds per serving. Soy and tofu, and cauliflower came out as the veggie associated with the most weight loss, dropping 2.47 and 1.37 pounds, respectively.

Not surprisingly, each extra serving of baked, boiled, or mashed potatoes was associated with a .74 pound weight gain. A serving of peas bumped up participants' weight by 1.30 pounds and corn by 2.04 pounds. Researchers think those results were due to the fact that those vegetables are lower in fiber content and a likely to spike your blood sugar.

The researchers found that many of the fruits and veggies associated with more weight loss were high in fiber. For example, apples and pears contain 3.6 grams of the good stuff while broccoli has 2.6, and tofu contains 4.7. But that totally makes sense since this nutrient has been linked to more satiety, stabilized blood sugar, and helping your digestive system stay on point.

Though the study authors aren’t sure why fruits trumped vegetables for weight loss, considering that fruit often has more calories than the green stuff. But they hypothesize that the winning fruits may have other characteristics that make them diet-friendly, like their antioxidant content or their higher calorie count, which could increase satisfaction, leading to less food intake overall.

Although this study looked at a massive group of people over more than two decades, they also bring up two major caveats. First, almost all the participants were well-educated, white adults, so they weren’t analyzing a diverse group. Second, since participants were reported their diet and weight, it’s possible there may have been some errors in the data. But even with those limitations, there’s nothing wrong with the study’s takeaway: Add plenty of fruits and non-starchy vegetables to your grocery list to ramp up your weight-loss progress.

See more at: Women's Health

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Women's Magazine: Which is Better for Weight Loss: Fruits or Veggies?
Which is Better for Weight Loss: Fruits or Veggies?
Though the study authors aren’t sure why fruits trumped vegetables for weight loss, considering that fruit often has more calories than the green stuff
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