Are blueberries good for weight loss?
Before we see how research has answered that question, let me share my own struggle with weight.
I’ve always been fairly fit. But as my 40th birthday approached, my six-pack had vanished under an embarrassing layer of fat.
Who cares about a little tummy fat?
I definitely did! Looking in the mirror no longer gave me the sense of accomplishment it had in my younger years. While all my pants still fit, they were snugger than they’d ever been.
I wasn’t the only one who noticed. More than once, my mom tapped my tummy and told me I had to lose weight. And when I stuck out my stomach and patted it as if I were pregnant, my kids giggled.
Although none of my employees commented about my fat, as the founder and CEO of a plant-based, health-focused restaurant, I wondered if they noticed.
A number of our customers on their own weight-loss journeys liked our F.I.T. (for Fruitive-Intensive-Trainer) drink. With blueberries as its primary ingredient, it was our answer to the question, “Are blueberries good for weight loss?”
But what does the research have to say?
Cohort Studies Asking “Are Blueberries Good for Weight Loss?”
My post yesterday on how blueberries are good for our hearts observed how, in the 1950s and 60s, cohort studies began to alert the public to the link between smoking and lung cancer.
Cohort studies are critical for identifying links between disease and both good and bad habits. And several large ones have explored the link between eating blueberries and losing weight.
For example, a 2015 study published in PLOS Medicine examined three different prospective cohort studies analyzing fruit and vegetable intake.
Its goal was to determine which fruit or vegetable had the most significant impact on weight loss. The combined data came from 133,468 American men and women interviewed every four years for 24 years!
Which plant food had the most impact on weight loss? You guessed it – blueberries!
Two more cohort studies looked at blueberries’ main active nutrient, anthocyanins.
One published in the BMJ in 2016 followed 124,086 American men and women for 24 years. It included data on six different classes of flavonoids. Those who consumed the most anthocyanins gained the least amount of weight.
Finally, a cohort study of healthy female twins reported that those consuming the most anthocyanins had a 3- to 9-percent lower fat mass and less abdominal fat.
One-Third Cup of Blueberries Daily = Triple the BMI Reduction!
Clinical studies have also connected blueberry consumption and weight. In 2017, 54 adults participated in a 12-week, counselor-led nutrition therapy program.
For the first six weeks, blueberries were not on the menu. However, at the six-week mark, half the participants replaced one daily serving of fruit with 1/3 cup (50 grams) for the remainder of the program.
By following the advice of their nutrition counselors, both groups dropped weight. But the participants who ate blueberries every day for the second six weeks experienced a dramatic improvement.
The non-blueberry group’s average BMI fell nearly 5 percent from the weight-loss therapy. But the blueberry group nearly tripled their success, with an average 14-percent reduction in BMI.
And all it took was eating a handful of blueberries a day for six weeks! If you were to ask this group, “Are blueberries good for weight loss?” their answer would certainly be a resounding, “Yes!”
My Own Blueberry Success Story
Something about turning 40 gave me the extra motivation I needed to lose weight. After years of resisting what I knew was best for me, I finally decided to go 100-percent whole-food, plant-based.
My new way of eating included upping my blueberry consumption. Combining a plant-based diet with extra blueberries and regular exercise did the trick!
My weight eventually came off, and my abs reappeared. Today, at the age of 43, I’m in the best shape of my life – and it’s time for my F.I.T. smoothie!
So, are blueberries good for weight loss?
Absolutely. Blueberries are weight-loss champions!