In a powerful landmark report that sought to drill down to what specific dietary and lifestyle factors most closely correlated to weight gain over time, Harvard researchers uncovered some very striking and consistent findings.
This behemoth of a study involved over 115,000 adults followed for up to 20 years. Of all the factors they followed including diet, exercise, sleep, and TV viewing, food choices were the most influential. The specific foods associated with the greatest weight gain over time were (in descending order): potato chips, other forms of white potatoes, sugary beverages, unprocessed meats, and processed meats.
Thankfully, the researchers also found that increasing the consumption of certain foods protected against weight gain. These “eat more – weigh less” foods were (in descending order) yogurt, nuts, fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. (New England Journal of Medicine, June 23, 2011)
In summary, the most effective strategies for avoiding long-term weight gain include:
•Doing your carbs right! Avoiding the great white hazards – white flour products, white rice, white potatoes, and sugar (especially sugary beverages). Eating more fruits, veggies and whole grains.
•Eating nuts and yogurt (I do plain) regularly.
•Restricting meats, especially the processed varieties.
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