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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Which Foods Make You Fat?

Which foods put on the pounds and which foods help you keep those pounds off?
Everyone it seems has their own ideas of which foods are "fattening" and which foods promote weight loss. But a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (June 23, 2011) puts some scientific research behind the claims of which foods promote weight gain and which foods are associated with a leaner body. Read on to learn more.
What they did: the researchers from a variety of institutions in Boston studied 120,877 men and women in the US over a period of many years. They then looked at which foods were most associated with weight gain and which foods were associated with no gain in weight. Knowing which foods fall into which categories can help those who want to lose weight, gain weight, maintain weight and those who are physical trainers or just interested in a good, healthy lifestyle.
Are there foods that seem to promote weight gain? This article says YES there are a number of foods that seem to promote those fat cells.
Foods that promote weight gain. Which food topped the list?
Foods Leading to Weight Gain over the Four Year Period
Weight Gain in a 4 Year Period
Potato Chips3.01 lb
French Fries6.59 lb
Sugar-sweetened beverages1.32 lb
Refined Grains (eg white bread).56 lb
Sweets and desserts.65 lb
Butter .47 lb

Are there foods that one can eat and not seem to gain weight? Yes. So what foods are associated with less weight gain? Over a four year period were there foods inversely associated with weight gain?
Eat more of these foods and gain less weight over time.
Weight Change in a Four Year Period
Vegetables-0.25 lb.
Fruit-.69 lb
Whole Grains-.59 lb
Nuts-.78 lb
Yogurt -1.16 lb
Low-fat Dairy Foods-.17 lb

How can one eat more of a food and not gain weight? The researchers noted foods like whole grains and nuts are higher in fiber, more filling and one may eat these foods and less of the more fattening foods. Thus, those who fill their plates with fruits, veggies, whole grains and add some nuts as a snack are less likely to gain weight. Yogurt consumption was also linked to less weight gain but the researchers didn't know why. They hypothesized that maybe the good bacteria in yogurt might change the bacteria in our colons and influence weight in some way. Or, those who eat yogurt might just have healthier lifestyles.
The article noted many people gain weight over time. One doesn't become "obese" or "overweight" overnight. Just eating an extra 50 or 100 calories a day can lead to weight gain over the years. But if you want to limit those pounds, focus your diet on:
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Low-fat Dairy
  • Nuts
  • Yogurt
  • Whole Grains

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