Veggies that Cause Weight Gain Revealed in New Study

Veggies that make you fat

A new study finds that eating some veggies actually sabotages your weight loss efforts. Here are the types of veggies you need to watch out for and a list of the ones that are best for losing weight.

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According to a new study published in the online journal PLoS Medicine, researchers from Harvard and Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston took a look at three large studies that collected health data from 133,468 U.S. men and women over the past 24 years and analyzed the data to determine whether there is an association between a change in intake of specific fruits and vegetables and a change in weight.

What the researchers found was that, yes, having a daily habit of eating more servings of fruits and vegetables than what the majority of people in the U.S. normally eat is beneficial toward managing your weight and overall health. In fact, eating even at least one extra serving of fruits or vegetables per day can have a significant long-term impact on your health and weight.

According to dietary guidelines, children from the age of 2 to 6 and senior adults should eat 3 servings of vegetable and 2 servings of fruit per day. Adult women should eat 4 servings of vegetables and 3 of fruit, while men and active teen boys require 5 servings of vegetables and 4 servings of fruit daily.

However, what the researchers also found is that the large scale numbers also reveal that the veggies and fruits a person chooses appears to make a difference between whether that person is losing weight or gaining weight over the years. Their finding―although nutritionally healthy, starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn can lead to weight gain.

Watch: List of 13 Starchy Vegetables

Their final conclusion from the data was that in comparison, fruits trump veggies and that non-starchy veggies have an inverse association with weight gain.

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“These findings suggest that increased consumption of fruits and non-starchy vegetables is inversely associated with weight change and that different fruits and vegetables have different effects on weight. The benefits of increased consumption were greater for fruits than for vegetables and strongest for berries, apples/pears, tofu/soy, cauliflower, and cruciferous and green leafy vegetables. Increased satiety with fewer calories could be partly responsible for the beneficial effects of increasing fruit and vegetable intake.”

This does not mean that you should forgo starchy vegetables forever; rather, take them in moderation with more emphasis on consuming non-starchy vegetables. In fact, we need starchy foods to protect ourselves from colon cancer. However, as pointed out in this YouTube video by the American Diabetes Association, choosing the correct vegetable to eat is key to controlling blood sugar levels as well.

Non-Starchy Vegetables You Can Choose From

Here is an alphabetized list of recommended common non-starchy vegetables:

• Amaranth or Chinese spinach
• Artichoke
• Artichoke hearts
• Asparagus
• Baby corn
• Bamboo shoots
• Beans (green, wax, Italian)
• Bean sprouts
• Beets
• Brussels sprouts
• Broccoli
• Cabbage (green, bok choy, Chinese)
• Carrots
• Cauliflower
• Celery
• Chayote
• Coleslaw (packaged, no dressing)
• Cucumber
• Daikon
• Eggplant
• Greens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip)
• Hearts of palm
• Jicama
• Kohlrabi
• Leeks
• Mushrooms
• Okra
• Onions
• Pea pods
• Peppers
• Radishes
• Rutabaga
• Salad greens (chicory, endive, escarole, lettuce, romaine, spinach, arugula, radicchio, watercress)
• Sprouts
• Squash (cushaw, summer, crookneck, spaghetti, zucchini)
• Sugar snap peas
• Swiss chard
• Tomato
• Turnips
• Water chestnuts
• Yard-long beans

For an interesting tidbit on eating, here is article about a connection between craving starch and women eating dirt when pregnant.

Reference: “Changes in Intake of Fruits and Vegetables and Weight Change in United States Men and Women Followed for Up to 24 Years: Analysis from Three Prospective Cohort Studies” PLoS Med 12(9): e1001878. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001878; Bertoia ML et al.

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