Eating Certain Fruits and Vegetables May Lead to Better Weight Management

A Harvard study found that eating produce like apples, pears, and berries was linked to less weight gain.

According to new research from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), all produce isn’t made equal—at least when it comes to weight management.

The researchers found that adding a daily serving of produce of any type to an individual’s diet led to a decrease in weight gain over a four-year period. But, after a 24-year-long study of dietary information from almost 118,000 adults in their 30s and 40s, the team found that eating specific types of produce—among them berries, pears, apples, leafy greens, and green beans—led to even better weight management. Eating lots of starchy vegetables like potatoes, peas, and corn, on the other hand, often went along with weight gain.

Apples and pears came out on top, with an average 1.24-pound lower weight gain associated with increased consumption. Berries were tied to a 1.11-pound lower gain. Though not a traditional fruit or vegetable, tofu and soy consumption was also linked to a 2.47-pound lower gain. Foods associated with better weight management tended to have low glycemic indexes, meaning they cause fewer blood sugar spikes after they’re eaten and thus keep people satiated longer.

Of course, any produce is better than none. But if your weight is a concern, you may want to squeeze in an extra apple picking adventure this fall.