Not all fruits and vegetables are created equal. They come in a wide variety of shapes, colors and flavors: red, green, leafy, juicy, sweet, bitter, weird ones that you can’t identify. But a new study suggests that different produce items can also have dramatically different effects on weight loss.
The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard, looked at diet information for 117,918 people during four-year intervals over 24 years, starting in the participants’ 30s and 40s. Though increasing daily servings of fruits and vegetables led to weight loss across the board, some specific foods correlated better with weight loss than others.
For instance, though increased fruit consumption led to an average weight loss of .53 pounds per additional daily serving over a four-year period, eating more berries specifically led to over a pound of weight loss. Apples and pears had a similar effect, causing weight dips of 1.24 pounds per extra daily serving.
When it came to vegetables, tofu/soy and cauliflower were two of the biggest stars. Though increasing vegetables overall led to about a quarter-pound of weight loss per daily serving, bulking up on tofu/soy caused the average person to drop nearly 2.5 pounds, and cauliflower led to 1.37 pounds of weight loss. Meanwhile, other vegetables did more harm than good. “Increased intake of starchy vegetables, including corn, peas, and potatoes, was associated with weight gain,” the study stated.
“There are many fruits and vegetables that may be better choices—apples, pears, berries and nonstarchy vegetables,” lead author Monica L. Bertoia told the New York Times.
The findings provide an interesting new insight into how what you eat affects your weight. And if I’m doing my math right, it also shows that if you eat just 40 additional servings of tofu every day, you could lose 100 pounds in four years. Right?