Eating foods with fewer calories per bite can help people eat less and stay trim. But what’s the best way to cut calorie density?
One day a week for four weeks, scientists provided all the food (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and evening snack) eaten by 59 adults aged 20 to 45. On those days, the researchers lowered the calorie density of the entrees by 20 percent in one of three ways: adding less fat (butter or oil), increasing fruits and vegetables, or adding water. (For example, the researchers added water to a Tex-Mex pasta casserole and a chicken rice casserole by turning them into soups.)
The participants weren’t told what the study was testing or how the entrees varied.
For instance,, the fruits and vegetables were either chopped into small pieces or pureed so participants wouldn’t notice them.
The results: the volunteers ate roughly 400 fewer calories on days when the entrees had less fat, roughly 300 fewer calories on days when the entrees had more fruits and vegetables, and about 230 fewer calories on days when the entrees had extra water.
What to do:
If you’re trying to cut calories, try eating dishes with more water, more fruits and vegetables, and (especially) less fat.
Source: Nutrition Action Health Letter October 2013