An increased intake of fruit, vegetables, dietary fibre, vitamins C and B6, beta-carotene and folate were found to independently increase weight loss in a population of overweight adults, according to a study published in Nutrition Research. Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, calculated the effects of dietary components on weight loss independent of exercise and total energy intake over a six month period. Fruit and vegetables help weight loss According to the study, led by D.S. Sartorelli, each 100g increase in fruit consumption is associated with a reduction of 300g of body weight after a six month period, with results adjusted for age, sex, differences in physical activity and total energy intake.
Similarly, a 100g increase in vegetable intake was found to be associated with a 500g reduction in body weight. An increase in fibre intake was also associated with weight loss - each1g increase in total fibre and fibre from fruit and vegetables was associated with a reduction in body weight of 115g and 180g respectively after the six month period. In addition, differences in vitamins C and B6, ß-carotene and folate intake were also associated with weight loss, according to the study. The study included 80 overweight adults between 30 and 65 years old who attended a nutrition counselling program during 6 months.
Participants were divided into two groups, control and intervention. The intervention group had three individualised dietary counselling sessions and dietary suggestions provided by a nutritionist including increasing olive oil, fruit and vegetable intake and decreasing saturated fat, as well as the receiving the written information and 30 minute group session reserved for the control group. Food intake was estimated from a questionnaire and measurements of body mass and body mass index were taken at the beginning of the study and after six months. Fibre and feelings of satiety The research findings support a body of evidence suggesting that a fibre rich diet can help weight loss.
One hypothesis to explain such results is the feeling of satiety experienced from a high consumption of fibre. However, the researchers highlight previous studies that suggest naturally fibre rich foods are associated with greater weight loss than fibre-added goods, indicating the role of other compounds in the fruit and vegetables that are not related to the fibre content in weight loss. They conclude that: "Further prospective investigations are necessary to elucidate the independent role of fruits and vegetables on weight control." Source: Nutrition Research 2008, Issue 28, pages 233-238
High intake of fruits and vegetable predicts weight loss in Brazilian overweight adults
Daniela Saes Sartorelli, Laércio Joel Franco, Marly Augusto Cardoso