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Diet Superfoods - The Best Health Foods for Losing Weight

Updated on November 15, 2016
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Dr John uses his Biochemistry & Physiology research background (PhD) to develop authoritative reviews of dieting, weight loss, obesity, food

While for most people dieting involves reducing the amount of food eaten and switching to weird so-called 'diet foods', the food you choose for long-term weight reduction makes a big difference. The simplest diet advice is 'Only Eat the Better Half', that is try to reduce portion sizes by half and eliminate the poor quality and junk foods from what you eat. Cut out the fried foods, fat and sugar laden foods in favour of foods with low calorie densities and lots of natural fibre - such as fresh fruit and vegetables. However it is a good idea to look at the best foods to eat when you are trying to lose weight.

A new study by Harvard researchers suggests that people benefit more by focusing on eating the right foods, rather than less - quality matters are well as quantity.

The findings are based on 20 years of data for a total of 120,877 men and women and examined the association between changes in participants' eating and lifestyle habits and body weight changes every four years. On average the people in the study consistently gained 3.35 pounds (1.5kg), or about 2.5% of their body weight, during each 4-year period. Over the 20 years of the study the average total weight gain was about 17 pounds (7.7 kg).

To lose weight include wholefoods that are rich in fiber and have low calorie density - that is the number of calories per unit of volume. This lowere the GI and means you remain satiated for longer
To lose weight include wholefoods that are rich in fiber and have low calorie density - that is the number of calories per unit of volume. This lowere the GI and means you remain satiated for longer | Source

Research Findings

The study emphasised that small changes in diet and lifestyle added together make a major differences. People trying to lose weight should consider both diet and lifestyle changes, which has been recommended before. The 'Eat the better Half' approach is supported by this study, because while calories and portion sizes are important it is much easier to control calories by substituting healthy foods for junk foods and sugar-laden drinks than delude yourself into thinking you can count calories in junk food and so limit you intake. refer other articles The approach is to substitute unprocessed and whole foods such as fruit and vegetables, that have low calorie densities and high fiber for the junk foods and processed foods that have high sugar and fat contents.

Best foods for Weight Loss

Below are series of foods that good options for a weight loss program:

See - Smoothies for Weight Loss and How to Make a Protein Shake

Raw Fruits and Vegetables (Whole Foods) - These are beneficial because they have high fiber and generally have low calorie densities. They fill you up and make excellent snacks and substitutes for desserts.

Salads - Make an excellent side dish and can easily become a main meal by adding lean chicken, beef or seafood. Try to include a wide variety of fresh in-season items such tomato, beetroot, cabbage, carrot, capsicum, lettuce, or cucumber. Try to use homemade low in calorie salad dressings such as vinegar, olive oil or lemon. Salads are also a good item for sandwiches.

Grapes - Make an excellent substitute for snack such as chips or nuts. They are high in sugar but provided you don't overeat them they are an excellent snack with zero fat. 100g of fresh grapes only contain about 70 calories.

Oranges and Apples - make an excellent snack substitutes, because of the added time taken to peel the fruit. Both Oranges and Apples only have about 50 calories. In contrast 200 ml of squeezed orange juice, with all the fiber gone has about 115 calories and sweetened juices have even more calories.The pectin in apples is an appetite suppressant that keeps you satisfied for long periods of time. Apples also are rich in fiber.

High fiber cereals - Whole grain cereals that are unprocessed fill you up, have lots of fiber and vitamins and relatively few calories. Oatmeal is particularly good as its loaded with fiber and provides sustained energy while delaying hunger pangs.

Sprouted pulses and beans - When beans and pulses are sprouted, they gain added vitamins and fiber and they can be used in a variety of ways.

Air popped popcorn - If you like popcorn choose varieties that are made without oil, butter or salt. Pop it your self in a microwave oven or on a stove. Four cups of air-popcorn have only 100 calories and one gram of fat.

Dairy products - Although more research is needed people who eat low-fat dairy products several times a day, lost more weight or put on less weight than people who did not eat dairy products.

Raw Nuts in Moderation - Eating any type of raw nut is good for dieting as the fiber helps to ward off hunger and nuts are laden with protein and healthy Omega-3s fats and other good fats. But carefully control the amounts you eat and avoid roasted and salted nuts. Brazil Nuts are a good source of selenium.

Walnuts - Make a great snack, but you cannot eat many of them as they are more filling than other nuts and contain less carbohydrates.Walnuts are rich in calcium.

Fish and Seafood - These are one of the beneficial components of the Mediterranean Diet and make excellent substitutes for chicken, pork and beef.

Green Tea - Well known to be beneficial for weight loss programs.

Garlic - Is another great food for weight loss programs, both to improve flavors and as an appetite suppressant.

Best Foods for Weight Loss

Cereals and Grains
Lean proteins
Oatmeal (old fashioned)
Egg whites (whole eggs in limited quantities)
Whey or Casein protein (protein powder supplements)
Brown rice
Chicken Breast
Sweet potatoes (almost same as yams)
Salad greens
Salmon (wild )
Multi grain hot cereal (mix or barley, rye, oats, titricale and others)
Turkey Breast
White potatoes
Peppers (red, green or yellow)
Top grade steak (grass fed beef)
100% whole wheat bread
Flank Steak (grass fed beef)
100% whole wheat pasta
Lean Ground Turkey
Beans (great for healthy chili recipes)
Lean game meats
Cream of rice hot cereal

© 2011 Dr. John Anderson


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  • Jean Bakula profile image

    Jean Bakula 5 years ago from New Jersey

    This is very interesting. Several years ago I lost 60 lbs. and kept 50 off. I eat oatmeal every day, and can attest it does lower your cholesteral and fills you up on cold winter mornings. I love fruit smoothies too. Just put ripe chunks of fruit, bananas, strawberries, or your faves, in the blender, or smoothie maker, add lots of ice, and you have a healthy drink that feels decadent! Always looking for new ideas!

  • DeborahNeyens profile image

    Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

    Great, informative hub. Another good substitute for chips as a snack is veggies dipped in hummus. I like to eat hummus with zucchini, celery, cucumbers and peppers. It's great for lunch or a mid-afternoon snack.

  • Joy56 profile image

    Joy56 4 years ago

    enjoyed that, no z for this one......

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