The more servings of fruits and vegetables you eat every day the better, for both losing weight and keeping it off over the years, current research tells us. But certain fruit snd specific vegetables help more than others in warding off weight gain and aiding in weight loss. Here’s what to know before heading to the produce aisle. The biggest surprise: Fruit beats certain types of vegetables when it comes to the number of pounds these natural whole foods help you lose and keep off.

After studying a wide population over 24 years, checking in with them at regular intervals to find out exactly what they were eating and whether the types of fruits and vegetables made a difference in the battle against obesity, the researchers found this: Overall, the more daily servings of fruits and vegetables you eat the better –and the more weight the subjects lost and kept off – but not all fruit and vegetables have the same impact.

Study subjects followed over near a quarter-century-long period who ate the most berries, citrus, and cruciferous vegetables also had the least amount of weight gain over that time: half a pound for fruit eaters and a quarter pound for vegetable lovers.


Starchy vegetables were less effective for weight control

Starchy vegetables with a high glycemic index did not have quite the same level of benefit, the study found. And drinking fruit juice was not as helpful as eating the whole fruit, presumably because the juice lacks the same amount of fiber – and it's partly the high fiber content that helps keep you full for longer, they added.

The researchers, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, tracked more than 133,000 people for 24 years and checked in every 4 years, and the ones who ate the most fruits and vegetables lost the most weight and kept it off, a study found.

For weight loss, berries, citrus, and cruciferous vegetables are best

Among those who kept off the weight over the decades, eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and more berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, and citrus fruits high in vitamin C such as oranges, grapefruit, and kiwi fruit were most effective in losing weight and also in maintaining a healthy weight

Additionally eating more plant-based protein was beneficial, the researchers found: Adding a daily serving of tofu or soy was linked to 2.47 pounds less weight gained – while eating more apples or pears led to 1.24 pounds less weight gained. Carrots and peppers were also linked to smaller gains, but potatoes, peas, and corn were not, because of those starchy foods' glycemic index, which is the amount of sugar available and how quickly it enters the bloodstream.

Bottom Line: Eating more vegetable and fruit is associated with a healthy weight

When choosing what foods to eat for weight loss or to maintain a healthy weight, choose higher-fiber, lower-glycemic load vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts as well as fruits like berries and fewer higher-glycemic vegetables such as carrots and cabbage.

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