What You Eat Matters More Than the Calories

Conclusion: “There are good foods and bad foods, and the advice should be to eat the good foods more and the bad foods less,” he said. “The notion that it’s O.K. to eat everything in moderation is just an excuse to eat whatever you want.” Researchers found that the kinds of foods people ate had a larger effect over all than changes in physical activity.

Good Foods: Weight loss was greatest among people who ate more yogurt and nuts, including peanut butter, over each four-year period.

Neutral Foods: The foods that resulted in weight loss or no gain: fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Bad Foods: The foods that contributed to the greatest weight gain linked to an average weight gain of 3.4 pounds in each four-year period. Major contributors were potato chips (1.7 pounds), sugar-sweetened drinks (1 pound), red meats and processed meats (0.95 and 0.93 pound, respectively), other forms of potatoes (0.57 pound), sweets and desserts (0.41 pound), refined grains (0.39 pound), other fried foods (0.32 pound), 100-percent fruit juice (0.31 pound) and butter (0.3 pound).

See NYT article on weight gain.

Comments (4)

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  1. Vicki says:

    Interesting. But I’m getting tired of diet advice.

  2. Buster says:

    So basically eating yogurt, nuts and vegetables is better for you than high fructose corn sugar and potatoes. The potato continues to get a bad rap. I wonder if that’s because the potato doesn’t taste very good unless it’s loaded down with sour cream, butter, cheese and bacon bits; or deep fried into French fries or potato chips? I’m a little surprised that yogurt continues to be associated with weight loss.

  3. Devon Herrick says:

    There is probably some interaction between behavior and weight loss. There could be some underlying behaviors that add weight loss in people who are predisposed to eating healthy. For instance, a person who eats veggies, whole grains and yogurt might exercise as well.

  4. Virginia says:

    Sometimes I think I get sidetracked on both counts: quality and volume!