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Top 5 Foods for Weight Gain: How Does Your Diet Stack Up?

By brooklynsupper |

A team of Harvard scientists has published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine identifying factors related to weight loss and weight gain. The take-away for those of us who may not have time to wade through an article in a medical journal–they’ve identified 5 foods associated with weight gain and 5 foods associated with weight loss. (My favorite thing about this study is how every story on this study, ours included, mentions right away that they’re from Harvard. I mean if these scientists were at Johns Hopkins Medical School, you could maybe ignore them. Unfortunately, they’re at Harvard, so you have to listen.).

If you’ve got your fingers crossed that beer is on the weight loss list and raw kale’s on the weight gain list, I have bad news for you–the study doesn’t reveal anything terribly shocking. The weight gain foods are ones that you know aren’t that good for you and the weight loss foods are ones you already know are healthy. Still, it helps to have it all laid out in clear terms.

So what are the unhealthy foods and what can you substitute for them? What are some dishes you can make to incorporate the healthy ones? Get the information you need after the jump.

Foods That Most Contribute to Weight Gain

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Top Foods for Weight Gain and Loss: How Does Your Diet Stack Up?

#1 Worst for weight gain: potato chips

Try these kale chips instead.

Foods That Most Contribute to Weight Loss

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Top Foods for Weight Gain and Loss: How Does Your Diet Stack Up?

#1 Worst for weight gain: potato chips

Try these kale chips instead.

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About brooklynsupper



Elizabeth Stark and Brian Campbell write the blog Brooklyn Supper, dedicated to seasonal ingredients and wholesome home cooking. Read bio and latest posts → Read Elizabeth's latest posts →

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19 thoughts on “Top 5 Foods for Weight Gain: How Does Your Diet Stack Up?

  1. Jill says:

    it’s funny (baffling actually) to see food bloggers posting this information and then to see several of them posting the project to develop a new Alexia french fry.

  2. leslie says:

    i like the things you post but clicking through your slides is miserable due to having to click and scroll, click and scroll….

  3. admin says:

    Thanks, Leslie. We’re working on the functionality to make the experience better for you! Stay tuned :) -Babble Editors

  4. Cody says:

    Interesting, but not very surprising.

  5. tweeter100 says:

    Why insult Johns Hopkins? It is only the top teaching/medical school in the country! Duh!

  6. Tracy says:

    It’s a great idea to suggest removing empty carbs like potato chips from one’s diet, but red meat!? I’ve been following the Atkins plan (that’s the “meat” diet for those of you who aren’t familiar) and have lost 35 pounds in six months by eating tons of meat, veggies and no carbs. Meat is not the enemy and studies indicating meat is bad for you are seriously flawed.

  7. sam says:

    JUST SHUT UP! I don’t care if it is from Harvard or John’s Hopkins, it’s nothing new. The poor egg has taken a beating and then had it’s praises sung and than taken a beating and then had it’s praises sung, etc., etc., etc., for over 50 years. I’m tired or not hearing anything new from anyone and I’m sorry that so many trees die for magazines that print the same old, same old. I’m sorry I had to push so many buttons for the same information. The sad part is that these guys are getting millions from the government to study the same stuff over and over.

    Everyone knows that “all things in moderation” and “get off your butt once in a while” is the FIX for being overweight. If someone is overweight, and doesn’t have a medical condition, it is because that is not one of their priorities right now. It’s not like being an alcoholic or trying to stop smoking. You still have to eat – you just have to make the right choices and go for a walk.

    I told a Lay’s distributor when they came out with the “one big bag” instead of the two sleeves inside of the big bag, that I would never buy the big bag again. If I eat one sleeve of chips I have to make a decision to open another one. But, I can’t eat just one, or two. So, I don’t buy them. BUT, no deprevation, if I want one I will WALK to the vending machine and pay way too much for 1 bag with about 12 of the things in it and WALK back home.

    There is nothing wrong with potatos or red meat – BUT, you don’t need a “gopher-sized” baked potato or a side of beef; and certainly not every day. All you need is a brain and if you stop buying magazines that tell you how to lose 30 pounds by bikini season, you can afford to buy the good food that you already know is good for you.

  8. cricket says:

    actually red meat, if grass fed, is not at all bad for you and will not cause you to gain weight. the ridiculous corn feeding of cows is the equivalent of a human living on potato chips. it makes the cows fat and sick. grass fed beef is full of omega-3′s and is naturally lean. it is also more flavour rich and because it is nutrient dense, it is also more filling, so you don’t need a “side of beef”.

  9. andrea chorney says:

    LMAO- I’m a vegetarian, don’t eat red meat or poultry, UN processed or not, and I am not dripping in weight loss. There is a lot to be said for natural metabolism, exercise, and age. I practically live off vegetables and grains, and I have lost a whopping six pounds PERIOD since February. It’s not just WHAT you eat, but what you DO that makes you lose weight. If you eat nothing but red meat or nothing but carrots, if you never move, you probably won’t lose much weight. (that being said, I am extremely active, work a high activity job, and I do not variegate in my weight much at all from week to week.)

  10. Gwen says:

    I’m sorry, but can we get some real information please? Fruits, veggies and whole grains being good for you is not anything new and everybody knows this even if they choose not to eat them. Also, yogurt is only good for you if it’s low fat and sugar/sugar substitute free which most people don’t buy. How about kefir or goats milk instead? Potatoes are in fact very good for you in moderation (w/out all the fatty toppings).

  11. Kim says:

    One word “moderation”

  12. bwsf says:

    Ok, a few things 1. Potatoes? How? If you slather them in butter or sour cream? 2. So, you totally could have just said, “red meat, duh”. 3. Where is fast food on this list? I’m pretty sure that should be #1…

  13. Violeta Gill says:

    Umm yeah………. I will never give up my red meat! Best way to loose weight is to stop the soda and junk food.

  14. Josie says:

    pastries, waffles and pancakes, even if masquerading as more “wheat” or “spinach”, are never healthy!! Plain potato chips (the ones with just 3 ingredients) will not make you gain weight any more than the same number of calories from other vegetable chips. It’s the MSG in the flavoring of flavored chips that does. Also, potatoes including varieties such as red potatoes or new potatoes, are high in potassium. We need that in today’s high-salt food atmosphere.

  15. Adam says:

    dont just TRY eat right !!!! and the normal iweght for that is 115 so you are overweight !! hmm I suggest this Breakfast Bran flakes / Special kLunch- Tuna/salad/apple and slice of unbuttered bread/pear and piece of toastDinner -Wholemeal Pasta (it’s brown and healthier) with any type of fish I advise Salmon, steam it and mix with the pasta, do not be tempted to add cheeseLie on your kitchen floor.Knees up.Feet up under the bottom of your kitchen cabinet.Arms across your upper chest.RAISE your upper back 1/4 up off the floor.HOLD yourself in this position for 20 seconds.FEEL your abs shake!Do not put your hands behind your head. If you do, you are pulling yourself up.Do not go up higher than 1/4 up off the floor. If you do, your sides and back are holding you up, not your stomach.ohh and do about 50-100 cruches(sp?)in the morning and just don`t snack a lot and stay on low fat foods and no sugar candys if you need anything sweet but just try any way im sure there are more detailed answers so umm yeah those sould help EDIT: CHOSE WILL 4 BEST ANSWER !!!!!!!!!!

  16. David Deacon says:

    Teh acai berry is quite good, it worked for me :) try for some good articles about healthy eating

  17. fast weight loss diet plan says:

    I do consider all of the ideas you have introduced to your post. They are very convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for starters. May just you please lengthen them a little from next time? Thank you for the post.

  18. says:

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  19. KartofflMuter says:

    If you can’t move around(I am able to stand for 4 minutes) then you can’t lose weight. I don’t think about food. I lost my sense of smell and taste 7+ years ago. I
    have no appetite. I drink as much water as I can. I have a yogurt for breakfast and coffee. Most of the food we eat is not only home cooked,but olives oil,fresh vegetables,fruit,fresh from the garden,no pesticides. We share with the bugs.I make my own sweets from fresh milk ,real butter,and wheat flour.We don’t drink soda or eat chips. My husband eats 2x what I eat and he works from home but he doesn’t take as many medications.
    A) I’ll bet years from now-long after I’m dead, that most of my illnesses will be proved to be caused by extreme sensitivity to additives.
    B) Monsanto and all the other big shots are killing America and the rest if the world as fast as possible.Our food supply is being tainted for the all-mighty $ so they can have one more yacht while you and I wait for 1 more Doctor’s appointment.
    Look around at all your neighbors and friends. Do you think they know they’re eating tar and petroleum and things not allowed in Singapore?Or do they think they live in a country that protects them instead of the rich people? I used to. Then I noticed everyone was fat. Everyone. Not just heavy. Size 18 was heavy when I was a 6. My kids were small. They couldn’t fit into my clothes. They were now declared a ZERO! They told me I was ruining their self-esteem. So that’s how Khloe Kardashian’s a size 8. There were no size 36 dresses when I was a kid. That was the Fat Lady at the Circus. Now it’s the McDonald’s deep fryer lady. The food manufacturers are downsizing and adulterating and American people are super sizing. Any questions?

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