FRIDAY, June 8, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- If you're trying to lose weight, eating the right foods may be more effective than eating less, U.S. researchers say.
A team at Pennsylvania State University found that low-calorie-density diets can help shed pounds and control hunger.
Low-calorie-density foods have high water and low fat content. They include fruits and vegetables, soups, lean meat, and low-fat dairy products.
"Eating a diet that is low in calorie density allows people to eat satisfying portions of food, and this may decrease feelings of hunger and deprivation while reducing calories," study author Dr. Julia A. Ello-Martin said in a prepared statement.
She and her colleagues compared 71 obese women, ages 22 to 60, who ate either a reduced-fat diet or a reduced-fat diet that also included water-rich foods.
After one year, both groups showed significant weight loss and a decrease in the calorie density of their diets. But the women on the fat-reduced/water-rich diet lost more weight during the first six months of the study -- 19.6 lbs. vs. 14.7 lbs.
The researchers found that the women on the reduced-fat/water-rich diet ate 25 percent more food by weight and felt less hungry than the women on the reduced-fat diet.
"By eating more fruits and vegetables, they were able to eat more food, and this probably helped them to stick to their diet and lose more weight," Ello-Martin said.
The study is in the June issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about weight control.