It's time to portion your potatoes. Before you reach for an extra helping of fries, consider this: a recent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine linked long term weight gain with potato products. Yes, our American favorites French fries and potato chips are the leading culprits causing those extra pounds to pile on, according to the study, which matched reported eating habits with the subjects' weight gain over four years. The study concluded that an extra daily serving of potatoes, no matter what form, causes weight gain. (Processed meats, red meat, butter and sweet desserts were also associated with weight gain.) On the other hand, additional servings of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and yogurt were among the foods that promoted weight loss.
But potatoes are vegetables, right? Most people know potatoes are high in carbs, but they also pack a lot of calories in a relatively small package. Plus, frying and processing them leaves them drenched in trans fats and salt. To avoid the excess baggage, simply replace your side or snack with fresh fruits and vegetables when they're in season. Not only will you support your local farmers, you'll cut down on your food miles, and if you're creative enough, maybe your taste buds will even discover something new!
We asked several registered dietitians Samantha Cassetty, nutrition director of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute; Lauren Slayton, founder of Foodtrainers; and Kath Younger, author of the blog katheats.com for tips on battling the bulge and switching over to low-calorie snacks.
For more healthy ideas, check out Good Housekeeping's list of 50 best low calorie snacks.
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