If it feels like every candle on your birthday cake adds a pound or two to your waistline, you’re not alone. Luckily, a new study led by researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University and recently published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition sheds light on what foods we can eat to fight off weight gain as we age.
Researchers followed 120,000 men and women for over 16 years and found that diets with a high glycemic load (GL) from eating refined grains, starches, and sugars were associated with excess weight gain. Previous research has linked GL of the diet, a reflection of how the food you eat causes a rise in blood glucose, to chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. However, this study was the first to look at how GL is related to weight gain as we age.
What should you add to your shopping list to help keep your weight in check? The study found that increasing intake of yogurt, seafood, skinless chicken, and nuts was most strongly associated with weight loss. Reduce consumption of red meat and processed meats, as these foods are strongly associated with long-term weight gain. Low-quality carbs like white breads, potatoes, and sweets should also be kept to a minimum. Full-fat cheese, whole milk, and low-fat milk are purely a matter of personal preference; researchers found these foods aren’t linked to weight loss or weight gain.