Like many, I lived in a bubble of oblivion, believing that simply eating an extra portion of broccoli would result in losing weight. A recent study, however, has popped my lovely little bubble and shown that I was very wrong. Although fruits and vegetables are undoubtedly good for you, they have “a near zero effect on weight loss,” researchers said. Looks like I’ll have to break out the running shoes after all.
Researchers at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, have finally put an end to the myth that eating more fruits and vegetables will make you thin, the New York Daily News reported. After reviewing information from more than 1,200 subjects in controlled trials, the researchers concluded that when it comes to fruits and vegetables, “just adding them on top of whatever foods a person may be eating is not likely to cause weight change," lead researcher Kathryn Kaiser told the Daily News.
Calorie Reduction Is The Only Way
As we’ve heard so many times before, there is no magic food that will result in weight loss. “To reduce weight, you have to reduce caloric intake," Kaiser told the Daily News. According to Kaiser, many were under the false assumption that simply adding high-fiber foods and vegetables would counteract the less-healthy foods in their diet. The evidence has suggested that this diet method just doesn’t result in weight loss. Kaiser sought to give the public a better understanding of the effects of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in a person’s diet, but in no way wanted to discourage the eating habit. Although the foods may not be an instant answer to weight loss, a diet high in fruits and vegetables has many other health benefits. Previous studies have found that individuals who have a vegetarian diet have been found to have a significantly reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, and are less likely to experience a heart attack or stroke. So, by all means, continue to pile up on the veggies, but just make sure you understand what you’re getting out of it.
Where Did This Idea Come From?
High amounts of fruits and vegetables in one’s diet have been believed to stave off hunger by “taking up space in the digestive tract,” The Health Site reported. The Department of Agriculture suggests that adults eat a daily serving of one-and-a-half to two cups of fruit, and two to three cups of vegetables, but individuals looking to shed weight have been advised to increase this amount.
Food That Actually Does Aid In Weight Loss
One food that has proved to be an exception to the calorie/weight loss rule is the average chicken egg. In a study from 2008, participants were split into two groups with each eating the exact same amount of calories. One group was assigned to have two eggs for breakfast while the other enjoyed a bagel. After eight weeks, the group that ate two eggs for breakfast showed a 61 percent reduction in body mass index, 65 percent greater weight loss, 34 percent greater reduction in waist circumference, and a 16 percent greater reduction in percent body fat, when compared to the bagel eaters. Researchers concluded that an egg for breakfast aids with weight loss when added to a calorie-restricted diet better than other foods of the same caloric amount. Unfortunately though, eating eggs without changing any other aspect of your lifestyle isn’t likely to shed the pounds.
Source: Kaiser KA, Brown AW, Bohan Brown MM, Shikany JM, Mattes RD, Allison DB. Increased fruit and vegetable intake has no discernible effect on weight loss: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2014.