Once upon a time, eggs were considered unhealthy because of their high cholesterol content. But now that we understand the difference between good and bad cholesterol, researchers have found that eggs are a nutritious food that can play a valuable role in a weight-loss diet. Eggs are high in protein as well as fat, and they make you feel full longer.
While eating too many eggs can raise your cholesterol, moderate consumption allows you to enjoy all the benefits of this nutrient-dense food. Enjoy hard-boiled eggs as a snack or have egg salad for lunch to increase your protein, iron, vitamin B6, and vitamin D intake.
Whether it’s kale, spinach, swiss chard, or collard greens, leafy greens are a type of vegetable that’s especially beneficial for weight loss. In addition to being low in calories, leafy greens are also low in carbohydrates and very high in fiber. As a result, they help you feel full, keep you regular, and supplement the proteins you’re eating.
Fatty fish — like salmon, cod, trout, and tuna — are an amazing choice for a healthy diet. They offer lean protein in addition to the healthy fats your body needs. Fish also provides iodine, which helps support proper thyroid function. Since your thyroid is in charge of your metabolism, you want to make sure that it’s in peak condition!
There are other benefits to eating fatty fish, including better brain function, reduced inflammation, lower blood pressure, and even protection against obesity and metabolic disease.
Beans & Legumes
Beans and legumes are a category of food that tend to be high in fiber and protein — the two nutrients that make you feel full and satisfied. They’re a great choice for vegans, vegetarians, and pescatarians, as they can offer a source of protein other than meat. Some of the best beans and legumes you should add to your diet include black beans, lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, and peanuts.
These types of beans can also be made into spreads which you can enjoy with celery and carrot sticks. What’s better than carrots dipped in hummus or celery topped with peanut butter and raisins? Get creative with your legume consumption and discover all the different ways you can eat them — from stews and salsas to spreads and dips.
Avocados are already pretty well-known in the health world as a unique fruit with tons of benefits. Instead of being high in carbs and sugar, avocados are loaded with healthy fats. They also contain plenty of fiber and water that make them less calorie-heavy. Avocados are also useful in increasing carotenoid antioxidant absorption from other foods you’re eating, allowing your body to make use of all the nutrients in fruits and vegetables more effectively.
While most cereals that advertise whole grains are full of sugar and should be avoided, finding whole grains in other foods is a great choice for weight loss. Unlike white or wheat bread, whole-grain breads and crackers are made with fully intact grains. Processing and refining grains before use causes them to lose some of their nutrients, making them less healthy as a source of fiber, protein, and minerals. Choose bread labeled “whole grain” to ensure you’re getting as many nutrients as possible out of your food.
You can also opt to eat just the grains to improve your metabolic health. Make whole oatmeal in the morning, have a quinoa salad for lunch, or add brown rice as a side to your dinner. Whole grains are a source of carbohydrates, though, so if you’re eating a low-carb diet, these may not be the best options for you.
Chia seeds have been the breakthrough food of the decade! Still considered one of the most nutritious types of food, they’re 90% fiber, which makes them ideal to help reduce your appetite. Once you eat chia seeds, they expand in your stomach and hold 11 times their weight in liquids, making you feel full for longer.
Over the years, low-fat foods have been proven to be far less healthy than full-fat foods. In the case of yogurt especially, low-fat is almost always synonymous with “added sugar.” Whenever manufacturers remove fat from a food, they improve the flavor with sugar, making it less healthy than the full-fat option.
Adding too much sugar to your diet causes blood sugar spikes and can also feed the bad bacteria in your gut. Instead of helping these bacteria grow, focus on the good gut bacteria that help you digest and absorb nutrients. Eat yogurts that are full of probiotics to improve gut function, protect against inflammation, and increase leptin resistance (the hormonal driver behind obesity). Look for yogurts labeled with live, active cultures to ensure you’re getting the benefits you want.
While preparing artichokes may be a little difficult when you’re not used to them, their dietary benefits make them well worth the effort. From folate and potassium to vitamin C and vitamin K, artichokes are nutrient-rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and fat. They have been shown to help regulate cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as improve liver and digestive health. Keeping your body operating at full functionality is one of the most important ways to increase weight loss. Help your body flush out toxins with artichokes!
While water isn’t strictly a food, it’s still one of the most important pieces of any weight loss diet. It’s a natural appetite suppressant that also increases your body’s calorie burn. Water plays an essential role in burning fat, and it helps flush toxins out of your body. While the standard is eight cups of water per day, much of the amount you should drink is dependent on your weight and activity level.
It can be daunting to figure out how to incorporate all of these foods into your diet, especially if you’ve never cooked with them before. If you’re ever unsure of how to use a particular food, the internet is your friend. Explore recipes, blogs, and cooking tutorials that will have you feeling like a master chef in no time!
Written by Tess DiNapoli
About the Author
Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and world of fitness.
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