Food provides us with calories and nutrients but not only. Some foods act on important parameters in weight management: the mechanisms of satiety (fibre…), the bioavailability of nutrients (lipids from nuts…) or metabolic effects (sugars and abdominal obesity…).

A German team (Heinrich Heine University) has compared the results of around forty large-scale studies, in order to assess the place of different food groups in weight gain or loss.

Their influence was classified according to three criteria:

– onset of overweight or obesity,

– development of abdominal obesity,

– weight gain over time time (about 1.5 to 2 kg / year out of 4 to 14 years).

Foods that contribute to weight loss weight

  • Whole grains. A 7% decrease in the risk of overweight is observed per slice of 30 g per day. This amount is associated with a 9% decrease in the risk of weight gain over the years, but there is no additional effect beyond 64 g/day.
  • The fruits. For 100 g / day, the risk of excess weight is reduced by 7 %, while the risk of weight gain over time is reduced by 9% for each 100 g/day too (no additional effect beyond 300 g/day).
  • Nuts. The risk of abdominal obesity is significantly reduced with 25 g / day, and we observe a decrease in the risk of overweight with 12 g / day (the effect is less clear beyond).
  • Legumes. They are associated with a reduction of % risk of overweight per 64 g / day.
  • Fish. The risk of abdominal obesity decreases linearly until it reaches a plateau from 40 g / day: the reduction in risk then reaches 17%.

Foods that promote weight gain

  • Refined cereals. They are associated with overweight and obesity, with an increased risk of 5% per slice of 30 g / day, knowing that this increase starts from 90 g/day.
  • Red meat. For 100 g/day, it is associated with an increase of 12% risk of abdominal obesity and at an increase of 10 % risk of weight gain over time.
  • Sugary drinks. For a quantity of 28 cl / day , they are associated with the risk of overweight and obesity (+ 5%) and abdominal obesity (+ 14%). For the latter, the risk increases significantly up to 40 cl / day, then continues to increase but more weakly.

These results put into perspective the major food categories with a view to preventing overweight, obesity and abdominal obesity. They also remind us that if we can eat everything, it is better to eat a little more of this, and less of that.

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