Making small tweaks to your diet can have more of an impact long-term than fad diets, a new study indicates.
Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition analysed three long term studies looking at the diet and weight of 16,000 American adults over 16 years.
It found people whose diets contained more starch and carbohydrates gained more weight - unsurprisingly - but they also found some foods were associated with weight loss.
Notably people whose diets were high in skinless chicken, nuts, yoghurt, and seafood gained less weight. The overall message of the study was if you want to lose weight, exchange carbohydrates for protein, but the research also found some products did not seen important for weight.
"The fat content of dairy products did not seem to be important for weight gain," author Dr Jessica Smith said. "In fact, when people consumed more low-fat dairy products, they actually increased their consumption of carbs, which may promote weight gain. This suggests that people compensate, over years, for the lower calories in low-fat dairy by increasing their carb intake."