This Is the Unhealthiest Vegetable You Can Eat, According to Harvard Scientists

Amanda Montell
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Emily Knecht for Urban Outfitters

You'll be hard-pressed to find a professional nutritionist who doesn't recommend eating more vegetables. (In fact, leafy greens and sprouts are among the few foods that all nutritionists agree are  healthy). But as the winter months approach and interest in staying in great shape increases, an eye-opening 2015 Harvard study of diet and weight loss is making the rounds again.

SheFinds resurfaced the study over the weekend, reporting that researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health studied the daily diets of approximately 130,000 adults over 20 years. Every four years, the scientists solicited food diaries of what participants had eaten every day for a week, and every two years, participants reported their exact weight. With these findings, the study was able to identify a category of vegetables that actually contributes to weight gain, inspiring exasperated sighs around the country.

With the granular data, they were even able to pinpoint the one vegetable that leads to the most weight gain—aka, arguably the unhealthiest vegetable of them all. Curious to find out what it was? Keep scrolling to learn the number one worst vegetable for weight loss.

And the worst vegetable for weight loss is…

According to Harvard's report, participants who ate larger quantities of starchy vegetables, like corn, potatoes, and peas, were more likely to gain weight. "Corn was the worst, with two pounds [approximately 900 grams] of weight gained for every additional serving over four years," SheFinds said. The reason? These starchy foods have higher glycemic loads, producing frequent, intense blood sugar spikes after they are eaten, which can ultimately make a person want to consume even more.

By contrast, the study found that participants who ate plenty of high-fibre vegetables, like kale and string beans, were likely to lose weight over time.

Despite these findings, we're probably still going to indulge in a cob or two this autumn. You?

Next: This centuries-old practice is the key to a speedy metabolism.

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