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Eating Lingonberries Stops Weight Gain in Junk Food Lovers

Update Date: Jan 23, 2014 06:38 PM EST

Eating lingonberries could prevent weight gain in junk-food lovers.

Swedish scientists discovered that mice fed a high-fat diet completely stopped gaining weight after eating these Scandinavian berries.

The latest study from Lund University looked at lingonberry, bilberry, raspberry, crowberry, blackberry, prune, blackcurrant or acai berry.  Most mice in the study were fed a high-fat diet, and divided into groups where they were fed different berries.

The findings revealed that mice in the lingonberry group had not put on more weight than mice in the low-fat diet group. Mice in the lingonberry group also had similar blood sugar and insulin readings as mice in the "low-fat" group.

Mice in the lingonberry group also had lower cholesterol and fat levels compared to mice on a high-fat diet without any berries.

"While the findings in mice are exciting, it should absolutely not be interpreted as a license to eat an unhealthy diet as long as you add lingonberries," researcher Lovisa Heyman told the Daily Mail.

"But we certainly hope to investigate if lingonberries could be part of dietary strategies to prevent obesity also in humans," Heyman added.

Researchers want to replicate the findings in humans.  

"Up to 20 per cent of our mice's diet was lingonberries. It isn't realistic for humans to eat such a high proportion," said co-author Karin Berger, according to the Daily Mail.

"However, the goal is not to produce such dramatic effects as in the 'high-fat' mice, but rather to prevent obesity and diabetes by supplementing a more normal diet with berries," said Berger.

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