The most surprising foods Weight Watchers considers zero points - and why
Weight Watchers has long assigned a point system to foods for dieters.
The idea is to incentivize people to stay away from less healthy foods like a slice of cake by making those items account for more of a person's daily food intake total. Foods that are perfectly healthy to eat in abundance, on the other hand, get a low point value.
According to the the weight-loss giant's rubric, some vegetables have always counted for zero points. But now Weight Watchers says dieters need not count points anymore when it comes to many other fruits, veggies and nutrient-rich proteins. In December 2017, Weight Watchers released an updated list of more than 200 zero-point foods that followers of the diet plan can eat in unlimited quantities.
That idea might seem counterintuitive, since many people assume that letting dieters eat as much as they want of certain foods could lead to overeating.
"These foods form the basis of a healthy eating pattern," Gary Foster, Weight Watchers' chief scientific officer and an adjunct professor at University of Pennsylvania's medical school, told Business Insider in December 2017, when the new point system was released. The list of zero-points items even includes things like eggs and fish.
"Very few people come to Weight Watchers because they've had a problem overdoing it on salmon, legumes, beans, and chicken," Foster said.
In other words, people just don't tend to binge on satiating, healthful foods. And Weight Watchers doesn't want any feelings of guilt to be associated with eating an extra dose of salad or another bite of fish.
The no-points list includes apples, mushroom caps, scallions, and tangerines. Here are some of the most surprising entries on it, and the nutrition research that led them to be included.
Whole eggs, including the cholesterol-heavy yokes
Many kinds of beans, including black, butter, navy, white, and fat-free refried beans
Caviar and shellfish
Most varieties of fish, including anchovies, cod, salmon, tuna, and whitefish
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
In fact, any fruit is alright, including fruit cocktails, unsweetened fruit cups, and fruit salads
Dates and figs
Unsweetened, nonfat Greek yogurt and plain yogurt
Almost every ingredient in a homemade stir-fry
Perhaps it's not a surprise after all that the updated Weight Watchers list includes so many wholesome foods that nutritionists champion for their ability to keep people wise, trim, and energized.
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