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Potatoes Bad, Nuts Good

Tags: Fitness & Life Food & Health
For the record, the results of this study won't change my diet or lifestyle. - M

Potatoes bad, nuts good for staying slim, Harvard study finds.

Everyone knows that people who chow down on french fries, chug soda and go heavy on red meat tend to pile on more pounds than those who stick to salads, fruits and grains.

But is a serving of boiled potatoes really much worse than a helping of nuts? Is some white bread as bad as a candy bar? Could yogurt be a key to staying slim?

The answer to all those questions is yes, according to the provocative revelations produced by a big Harvard project that for the first time details how much weight individual foods make people put on or keep off.

The federally funded analysis of data collected over 20 years from more than 120,000 U.S. men and women in their 30s, 40s and 50s found striking differences in how various foods and drinks — as well as exercise, sleep patterns and other lifestyle choices — affect whether people gradually get fatter.

The findings add to the growing body of evidence that getting heavier is not just a matter of “calories in, calories out,” and that the mantra: “Eat less and exercise more” is far too simplistic.

Although calories remain crucial, some foods clearly cause people to put on more weight than others, perhaps because of their chemical makeup and how our bodies process them. This understanding may help explain the dizzying, often seemingly contradictory nutritional advice from one dietary study to the next.

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