Which is the most fattening food: Candy or chips? To answer this question, US researchers have accompanied more than 120,000 people over a period of 20 years to study the most fattening foods. The ranking of the most fattening foods is surprising.
According to current data, obesity is a worldwide problem. One and a half billion people are considered overweight. 500 million are even considered obese, for their body mass index exceeds 30.
The Study on Fattening Foods
Although it may sound harmless at first: On average, participants of a large US study have only gained about 1 pound per year. But these cushions add up over time – on average, the men and women gained 17 pounds within 20 years of beginning the investigation.
Using data obtained from 98,320 women and 22,557 men, researchers working for Dariush Mozaffarian of the Harvard Medical School determined which foods were strongly linked to gaining weight. The study is a so-called “meta-study“, meaning it’s a study based on various other studies. As reported in the “New England Journal of Medicine“, the data originated from three major studies – the first and second “Nurse Health Study” involving nurses from all over the US, as well as the “Health Professionals Follow-up Study” involving men working in the healthcare industry. At the beginning of the study, the participants were of normal weight.
The study participants reported their eating habits and leisure activities on a regular basis, allowing great insight into their diet and exercise intensity.
Fattening food potato and potato chips
It’s not too surprising that potato chips were confirmed to be the most fattening food. Each additionally eaten serving (e.g. 30 grams of potato chips) turned into 770 grams of extra weight after four years. Each extra serving of potatoes lead to 580 grams, although fries (1.5 kilograms) had a significantly greater effect than boiled or mashed potatoes (260 grams).
Drinking sugary sodas was accompanied by 450 grams of weight-gain, red meat and sausage each with around 430 grams of impact. On the other hand, the placement of sweets was surprising: The daily dessert or candy dish was associated with an increase of about 180 grams.
Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and yogurt are not fattening
On the other hand, anyone eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts or yogurt than before actually lost weight over the course of four years. 100 grams per serving of vegetables, 220 per serving of fruits, 170 grams per serving of whole-grain products, 260 with nuts and 370 grams with yogurt – the study did not distinguish between regular and low-fat dairy products.
However: Fruits and vegetables do not cause weight-loss. Anyone who eats a banana after a double portion of fries with mayo will not become slimmer because of the banana.
The study results correspond with many previously known nutritional recommendations. The German Nutrition Society recommends consuming five servings of vegetables and fruit a day. The Mediterranean diet, often praised for its health benefits, is also based on large portions of greens. Anyone paying attention to his daily diet, does not need to adhere to a strict diet plan and will, in the long run, cut the risk of many diseases in half.
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