While conventional wisdom may say that a diet of fruits and vegetables will directly lead to weight loss, one study says not so fast.
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have found that increasing fruit and vegetable intake does not lead to shedding those annoying pounds. A team of investigators performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of data of more than 1,200 subjects in seven randomized, controlled trials to explore the weight loss effects of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
"Across the board, all studies we reviewed showed a near-zero effect on weight loss," said the study leader Kathryn Kaiser, Ph.D.
"So I don't think eating more alone is necessarily an effective approach for weight loss because just adding them on top of whatever foods a person may be eating is not likely to cause weight change."
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the recommended daily serving amount for adults is 1.5-2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables, although dieters are often advised to "fill up" on fruits and vegetables based on the assumption that the low-calorie foods will be satisfying by taking up space in the digestive tract.
"In the overall context of a healthy diet, energy reduction is the way to help lose weight, so to reduce weight you have to reduce caloric intake," Kaiser said.
"People make the assumption that higher-fiber foods like fruits and vegetables will displace the less healthy foods, and that's a mechanism to lose weight; but our findings from the best available evidence show that effect doesn't seem to be present among people simply instructed to increase fruit and vegetable intake."
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