Should You Skip Starchy Vegetables for the Sake of Weight Loss?

Fruits and veggies are super important for healthy, fit bodies—but not all vegetables are created equal. In fact, certain veggies high in starch are actually associated with weight gain, according to a study in PLOS Medicine.

Researchers from Harvard and Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston looked at the specific produce people ate over 24 years as well as how much weight that person gained or loss. Predictably, researchers found that with most produce, the more you eat, the more benefits they deliver. In fact, each extra daily serving of fruits or non-starchy vegetables (foods like asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, and spinach) led to an average loss of half a pound over four years. While that’s not exactly scale shattering, the surprise came with what produce had the opposite effect.

Starchy vegetables (think: corn, peas, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, zucchini and yams) can actually lead to you packing on the pounds. Participants who added an extra serving of the starchy stuff to their diets added an average of a pound and a half for each extra serving over four years—yikes!

According to government guidelines, the average woman should be getting four servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit each day. So, listen to mom and get your daily dose—just choose wisely. If you’re adding in extras to reap the waist trimming benefits, consider the non-starchy snacks first.

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