Health News (Fruits and Vegetables helps Weight Loss )

colourful fruits and vegetables

by admin on April 17, 2011

Fruits and vegetables help weight loss by reducing energy density

A recent study from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Pennsylvania State University studied the relationship of energy density to dietary outcome. They found that lowering the energy density by increasing the volume without changing nutrient content can enhance satiety and reduce energy intake at a meal.

Satiation was shown to be influenced by energy density when the portions of macronutrients were constant. Since people tend to eat a consistent weight of food, when the energy density of the food is reduced, energy intake is also reduced. The effects of considering energy density have been seen across broad ranges of adults as well as in children. Both population based studies and long term clinical trials have shown that reducing the energy density of the diet by the addition of fruits and vegetables was associated with substantial weight loss even when people were not told to restrict calories. This study is from the March 19 edition ofPhysiology and Behavior.

Substituting beans and lentils
for meat is a great way to lower the energy density of a meal. The calories are about the same, but beans and lentils are high in fiber. Beans and lentils are more filling than meat because a quarter pound of beans has a greater volume than a quarter pound of meat.

Fruits and vegetables are nutrient packed

Eating fruits and vegetables can turn off cravings for other types of foods and short circuit the food addiction cycle, helping to provide a boost to weight loss efforts. Nature has built into each of us the desire to eat because eating provides the body with the nutrition to function and maintain itself. If people choose to eat foods that do not contain the nutrients needed, the body will continue to send the signal that more eating is needed. Fruits and vegetables are nutrition powerhouses containing the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber, antioxidants and protein needed for good health and avoidance of disease. When they are eaten, the body is satisfied and the signal to continue eating is extinguished.

The average person in American eats a diet containing only 8% fruits and vegetables. This does not provide nearly enough nutrition to extinguish the signal to eat more. If the other 92% of food eaten consists of nutrient poor processed foods or anything claiming to be low carb or low fat, the signal to keep on eating remains strong.

To get real impact on weight and health, intake of fruits and vegetables must be drastically increased. Fruits and vegetables should make up the largest single block of food in the diet, with other foods added in small amounts. People increasing their fruit and vegetable intake while lowering the intake of foods deficient in nutrients will begin to see a difference in their weight and their energy levels.

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