Posted on Oct 18, 2019, 2 p.m.
Not all foods are created equally, different foods go through different metabolic pathways in your body which can have vastly different effects on hunger, hormones, and the number of calories you burn. We’ve gathered a small list of some of the most weight loss friendly foods that are supported by science.
Whole eggs have come back from being once feared. High intake of eggs may raises the level of LDL cholesterol in some people, but in moderation they can help you to lose weight as they are incredibly nutrient dense, high in protein and fat while being very satiating. One study of overweight women showed eating them for breakfast increased feelings of fullness and helped them to eat less throughout the day. Another study showed that eating eggs at breakfast for 8 weeks increased weight loss on a calorie restricted diet.
Leafy green vegetables have several properties that make them great for weight loss such as being very nutritious and packed full of many vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, while being low in calories as well as carbs and rich in fiber. Studies show that eating meals with low energy density makes people eat fewer overall calories.
Fatty fish such as salmon can help to keep you full for hours while having a low amount of calories. Salmon is full of high quality protein, healthy fats, and important nutrients. It may also provide a significant amount of iodine which is required for proper thyroid function that is important to optimal metabolism. This is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which will help to reduce inflammation which is known to play roles in obesity and metabolic disease.
Cruciferous veggies such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are high in fiber and tend to be filling. Although not as high as protein from animals of legumes this type of veggie contains a decent amount of protein; the combination of fiber, protein and low energy density makes these vegetables the perfect food to include in meal for weight loss.
Meat has been unfairly demonized, and blamed for various problems despite a general lack of good evidence to back up the negative claims. Processed meat is highly unhealthy, but unprocessed lean red meat does not increase risk for diabetes or heart disease, and two huge reviews only showed a very weak correlation with cancer in men while having no correlation in women. Meat is high in protein which can aid in weight loss as it is filling and can help to burn 80-100 more calories per day. Increasing protein intake by 25% has been shown to cut cravings by 60%, help to reduce late night snacking by 50%, and promote weight loss of 1 pound per week.
Potatoes have also fallen from grace, that doesn’t change the fact that they contain a diverse range of nutrients and several properties that help with weight loss and optimal health. On the Satiety Index white boiled potatoes scored the highest of all tested foods, this means eating them will help you to feel full and eat less naturally.
Legumes and beans are beneficial for weight loss, they tend to be rich in protein and fiber which leads to satiety. Some people have difficulty tolerating legumes, meaning it is important to prepare them properly to aid in digestion.
Soup is a low energy density choice as they typically contain lots of water and vegetables. Eating food turned into soup rather than as a solid has been shown to make people feel more satiated and eat less calories.
Cottage cheese tends to he high in protein with few carbs and little fat which helps to make you feel full for longer while eating a relatively low amount of calories. It is also high in calcium which may aid in fat burning.
Avocados are full of healthy fats, important nutrients, water and fiber. They are flexible in the way you can eat them making them a perfect addition to almost any meal, in moderation.
Apple cider vinegar has become very popular, and several studies suggest that it can help with weight loss, and help to reduce blood sugar spikes after meals. Taken with a high carb meal it can increase feelings of fullness to help decrease calories by 200-275 for the rest of the day. Another study in those with obesity showed 15-30 ml of vinegar a day lead to 1.6-3.7 pounds over 12 weeks.
Nuts are not as fattening as was once thought, in moderation they are an excellent snack that contains balanced amounts of fiber, fats, and proteins. Eating nuts can help to improve metabolic health and promote weight loss. Those who eat nuts tend to be healthier and leaner according to population studies.
Whole grains have also received a bad reputation even though some types are healthy such as oats, quinoa, and brown rice. Refined grains are not a healthy choice, and sometimes foods that say they are whole grains on the label have been highly processed into junk foods which are harmful and fattening, so be aware of what you are buying.
Chili peppers may be helpful to weight loss goals as they contain capsaicin which has been shown to reduce appetite while increasing fat burning, and is even sold as a supplement as well as used as an ingredient in many commercial weight loss supplements.
Fruit is healthy, those who eat fruit have been shown to be more healthy in population studies. They contain natural sugars which help with cravings, and they have a low energy density while being rich in fiber that helps to prevent the sugar from being released too quickly. The fiber, antioxidants, and nutrient content can also help to slow the rise of blood sugar after meals while assisting in weight loss. Grapefruit is worthy of being highlighted as studies indicate it may help to suppress appetite and reduce calorie intake to promote weight loss if eaten before meals.
Chia seeds are one of the most nutritious foods containing 12 grams of carbs per ounce, but 11 of these grams are fiber, making them one of the best fiber sources. Studies have shown that they absorb water to expand in the stomach, which may help to reduce appetite.
Coconut oil may help to boost satiety and increase the number of calories burned, in moderation. Adding coconut oil to your diet is more about replacing other unhealthy oils such as canola with it. Extra virgin olive oil is probably one of the healthiest choices available.
Yogurt contains probiotic bacteria which can help improve function of your gut, this may help protect against inflammation and leptin resistance that is one of the main hormonal drivers of obesity. Be aware of what you are buying as some are loaded with sugars.
When paired with a healthy lifestyle which includes getting enough sleep, managing stress, and being physically active, following a healthy diet will not only assist in weight loss goals, but it will also pave the way to the benefits of a healthier lifespan.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.