Yogurt: Some yogurts should have a “beware of sugar” warning posted on them. Be sure to check the sugar grams (especially on fruit flavor varieties) to make sure you’re not sabotaging your diet. A good low-fat yogurt choice will be low in sugar and packed with probiotics—similar to good bacteria found naturally in the intestine that can help prevent colds and improve immune response when you’re sick.
Good Grains: A good rule to remember is “if it’s white – don’t take a bite!” Instead of high glycemic index foods like white bread, white rice or white potatoes – choose whole grain breads and cereals, oatmeal, brown rice and sweet potatoes with soluble fiber that can help prevent abdominal fat buildup, reduce total body fat and waist circumference.
Turkey or Chicken Breast: Eating quality lean proteins like turkey and chicken breast can help facilitate fat loss by slowing down digestion and insulin production, thus making it easier for the body to break down and use stored fat for energy. Grilling or baking your own poultry is best but for a quick fix, Hillshire Farms makes a low sodium packaged turkey that is a good choice for minimizing salt intake.
Eggs: Whoever invented pourable egg whites in convenient cartons deserves a medal! Eggs are an excellent source of protein containing vitamin B12 needed by the body to metabolize fat. Fitness model Tosca Reno, author of “The Eat-Clean Diet” recommends eating at least three or four egg whites per day along with one yolk.
Wild Salmon: Roll your cart past the sushi rolls and catch some wild salmon instead. Wild salmon has fewer growth hormones and toxins than its farm-raised cousin, and it contains high levels of essential omega-3 fatty acids that can help suppress appetite, prevent fat deposition, increase energy expenditure and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Go Nuts: As long as they’re not covered with caramel or chocolate, nuts – including almonds, pecans, peanuts and walnuts – are good sources of monounsaturated fat (MUFA), promoting fullness and helping increase the metabolic rate. Research conducted by David Katz, director of Yale’s Prevention Research Center, shows that women who switched to a 1,600-calorie, high-MUFA diet shed a third of their belly fat within a month.
Eat Your Veggies: Vegetables like spinach and broccoli are high in soluble fiber, which acts as a cleanser for the digestive system. Vegetables also supply an abundance of cell-repairing antioxidants that provide vitamins and enzymes needed for slimming energy metabolism.
Berry Good for You: Raspberries, blueberries and strawberries are loaded with antioxidants and fiber. For every gram of fiber consumed approximately seven calories can be eliminated, according to research by Germany’s University of Kiel, Department of Human Nutrition and Food Science published in “The Journal of Nutrition.”
Tea Time: Drinking at least three cups of green tea daily can help burn 80 more calories thanks to antioxidants that can induce breakdown of fat.