A simple definition of obesity is having an unhealthy percentage of body fat. Obesity is gaining epidemic proportions worldwide. This is more so in the United States where one third of the adult population is obese.
Being obese means increased risks for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and dying younger. While genetics has a role in how much you weigh but most of the people get obese by eating more calories than they can consume. The excess calories then deposit as fat in their bodies.
One of the best ways to lose weight and control obesity is eating more vegetables and fruits. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that we should eat more vegetables as way to control weight. But does it mean that all vegetables help with weight loss.
One thing is sure that different fruits and vegetables have different fiber content and glycemic index which determine their satiety effect. Foods with high fiber content make you feel satiated for longer time and this means you will eat less which means less calories during the day.
The foods which have low glycemic index do not cause spikes in blood sugar levels which means you feel less hungry later on.
But you need to be careful when choosing which vegetables you eat. The foods with high fiber content and low GI have strong association with healthy weight when compared with vegetables that have less fiber and high GI.
A recent study published in PLOS Medicine has identified the vegetables that are associated with weight gain by studying the dietary habits of more than 118,000 people for a long period of 24 years.
The study found that those people who consumed high fiber and low GI fruits and vegetables lost weight during the study period. The fruits associated with weight loss are apples, pears, and berries. Similarly low GI vegetables like Brussels sprout and broccoli contributed towards weight loss.
On the other hand, those who consumed vegetables with high starch content like peas and corn were associated with weight gain. The people eating these vegetables actually gained weight. The researchers attributed this weight gain to the high glycemic index of these starchy vegetables.
The study also found that the weight loss was more associated with fruits than with vegetables. According to the study, the following fruits and vegetables were said to have most inverse relationship with weight change.
Fruits?for Weight Loss
The following fruits contributed most towards weight loss.
Vegetables for Weight Loss
The following vegetables were more likely to cause weight loss.
- Green leafy vegetables
Vegetables like potatoes, peas and corn are in fact positively related to weight change. Therefore, while you need to eat vegetables and fruits, you need to ensure that you only eat the vegetables and fruits with high fiber content and low glycemic index.