by Julie Upton
Delicious foods that dampen your hunger, turn off your cravings for sweets and rev up your metabolism may be the secret to slimming down. Here are 14 delicious, waistline-friendly choices. Read on to see if one of your favorites made the list.
Can creamy, rich avocados help shrink your waistline? New research says yes. Data published in the January 2013 issue of “Nutrition Journal” found that individuals who consume heart-healthy avocados have significantly lower BMIs and smaller waistlines, compared to non-avocado eaters. As an added bonus, avocado consumption has been associated with improved overall diet quality as the fruit provides more than 20 different vitamin, minerals and antioxidants. And one fifth of an avocado, (2-3 slices or 1 oz) contains just 50 calories. HOW TO ENJOY: Dip veggies in delicious guacamole, use sliced avocados as a scrumptious salad topper, mash with tuna or hard-boiled eggs for a non-traditional tuna or egg salad.
Mangoes are one of the best choices to satisfy a sweet tooth while improving your overall diet and not weighing you down. A cup of fresh mango has 100 calories, 2.5 grams of fiber and is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and folate. An animal study reported that the addition of freeze-dried mango to a high-fat diet helped prevent body fat accumulation and lowered blood sugar and insulin levels. And a January 2013 study published in “The Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences” used national food intake data and reported adult mango eaters had higher levels of nutrients such as potassium and fiber, and they weighed less, had lower BMIs and smaller waistlines, compared to adults who reported not eating mangoes. HOW TO ENJOY: Mangoes make more than great salsas or smoothies. Try fresh mango in your yogurt or on your oatmeal, on toast with nut butter or in hearty whole-grain side dishes like quinoa.
An apple a day may keep a growing waistline at bay. According to several studies, this favorite fruit may lead to reductions in weight and body fat. In addition to containing just 95 calories per medium-sized apple, the fruit also provides the filling soluble fiber pectin and ursolic acid, which may keep you fuller longer while helping your body resist storing extra calories as body fat. In one study, researchers from the University of Iowa found ursolic acid supplementation in animals increased muscle mass. Another animal study found that when animals are given high-fat diets that promote obesity, supplementation of apples or apple juice concentrate help protect the animal from piling on body fat. HOW TO ENJOY: Forgo apple pie a la mode and instead choose one of the 5 recipes linked below.
Protein provides more satiety per calorie than either fat or carbohydrate, which is why it’s often easier to lose weight by eating a higher percentage of calories from filling protein sources than quick-burning carbs. But when it comes to various protein choices, fish and seafood may be the best for keeping you full on fewer calories because they have among the highest protein-to-calorie ratios. In addition, a study of normal weight men reported that when they were given equal amounts of protein from either fish, beef or chicken, the subjects reported greater feelings of fullness from fish compared to either beef or chicken. Other studies have also identified fish as one of the most appetite-suppressing foods. HOW TO ENJOY: To keep calories in check, make sure your fish is baked, grilled or sautéed but not deep-fried.
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