Eating more fruits prevents people from gaining weight, even if that means consuming more calories (they're healthy calories anyway). That's according to the scientists of Harvard School of Public Health, whose research was recently published in the British Medical Journal.
It's all got to do with flavonoids, which are antioxidants that have health benefits like protection from heart disease and aiding in weight loss.
For 24 years researchers followed 124,000 people ages 27 to 65 and monitored their diet, lifestyle, and weight. They found that flavonoids found in blueberries, strawberries, apples, grapes, pears, and oranges had the greatest overall impact for weight loss. Sticking to the recommended five-a-day (400 grams or 1.6 cups of those fruits) could result in a weight loss of 1.2 pounds or half a kilogram in four years.
That might not sound a lot, since you can shed more pounds than that right now. But keep in mind that as you get older, you gain a pound or two every year. It could be because your metabolism is slowing down, your hormones are changing, or you're losing muscle mass so you have less calorie burners. All those considered, that means losing a pound in four years when you should've gained 5 to 8 pounds is actually good; the bare minimum is for you to maintain your weight as you age.
"Keeping a similar weight, even losing a small amount can improve your health," says the study's author Monica Bertoia. Specifically, they reduce your risk of diabetes, cancer, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
So yes, eat fruits, as well as vegetables.
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