We're all aware we should be getting at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but now it's been suggested that the ones we choose are just as vital. That's because a new study has found some vegetables are much more fattening than others, with sweetcorn top of the list.
Researchers at Harvard University also list peas as one dieters should think carefully about consuming, with potatoes an unsurprising entry at number three. Instead of feasting on them, substituting for brown rice or wholemeal bread is suggested.
It's not all bad news though, with blueberries, cauliflower and prunes at the other end of the spectrum.
The diets of 130,000 Americans were considered, with each answering detailed questions every four years for 24 years. They were weighed and other lifestyle factors were taken into account too, like smoking and exercise levels.
This study found eating more fruit and veg helped with weight loss, with fruit the best option. For every extra portion of fruit consumed a day, a person lost half a pound of fat over four years.
"Although the magnitude of weight change associated with each increased daily serving was modest, combining an increase of one to two servings of vegetables and one to two servings of fruits daily would be associated with substantial weight change," researcher Monica Bertoia wrote in PLOS Medicine journal.
Blueberries stood in poll position, with one extra portion a day linked to the loss of almost one-and-a-half pounds over four years. Cauliflower was a close second, with apples and pears also contributing to over a pound disappearing.
Strawberries and grapes did well too, although the reasons why aren't totally clear. In part it's thought they could be used as dessert substitutes, and so they help with calorie cutting. They are also high in polyphenols, which help with the body's metabolism and the way it processes sugar.
As well as those above, cabbage, onions and peaches were at the higher end of the spectrum. Celery, which has long been touted as a food which is great for dieters, didn't fair that well either. It will cause a loss of 0.34lbs over four years, which will come as a shock to those who believe the old wives' tale that munching it cuts flab as the body uses more energy to digest it than it receives from it.
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