If 2011 is the year where you have committed to losing weight and starting to lead a more health-conscious (and heart healthy) lifestyle, I have some good advice on some great testing foods that are sure to help you accomplish your New Year's resolution.
Losing weight and being more aware of the foods that we eat is one of the most important aspects in the battle against high cholesterol and heart disease. Weight gain is associated with diseases such as diabetes, certain types of cancer, and of course heart disease. Making sure to consume the "right" foods will give you a leg up when fighting high cholesterol and the "battle of the bulge."
I frequently communicate with other friends and colleagues who battle high cholesterol and weight gain, and one of them recently sent me a great list of eleven foods that will actually help you lose weight.
- Yogurt - loaded with calcium, this creamy snack can help curtail weight gain by hindering the absorption of fat in the small intestine. Throw in a few fresh berries and you've got a snack or desert that rivals crème brule.
- Eggs - Eggs have been receiving some really bad press over the past few years, but eaten in moderation they are a great source of protein and can help in losing weight by making you feel full longer and fight off those midday snack attacks.
- Nuts - While high in unsaturated fats (which are actually beneficial) nuts are also a great source of protein. Pistachios in particular offer lots of hunger-curbing protein and fiber. Plus, pistachios are chock full of heart-healthy antioxidants.
- Grapefruit - A half a grapefruit before a meal is said to help dieters shed more pounds than people who skipped the tart appetizer - maybe that's why my wife eats one every night. Note: if you are taking certain statins to control high cholesterol, interaction with grapefruit could be harmful, so check with your doctor or cardiologist first.
- Avocados - For someone who loves guacamole as much as I do, this is great news!! Researchers suspect that the unsaturated fat in avocados may ratchet up body levels of the hunger-halting hormone called leptin, a hormone that lets your brain know that you're full, so you stop eating. Additionally, the fat in an avocado is monounsaturated (the "good" kind) and actually lowers cholesterol levels.
- Mushrooms - Also known to vegetarians as the great replacement for meat, this delicacy has over 400 calories less than meat. Plus certain mushrooms are rich in total dietary fibers, including those associated with cholesterol-lowering (chitin) and healthy hearts (beta-glutan).
- Olive Oil - I couldn't imagine a world without olive oil, I use it on practically everything! Olive oil contains a hunger-busting monounsaturated fat called oleic acid which creates a process during digestion that ultimately tells your brain you're full and makes you want to stop eating.
- Whole Grains - My wife and I made the complete switch to whole grain breads and pastas several years ago and will never go back. Refined grains are high in sugar and carbs and are known contributors to weight gain and high-sugar levels in the blood.
- Red Peppers - Whether sweet or hot, most peppers contain capsaicin, the heat-inducing compound in red peppers that, according to research, tamps down appetite and curbs food intake later in the day.
- Fava Beans - Most beans are a lean protein source bursting with flavonoids (a great cholesterol fighting antioxidant). But fava beans in particular pack these special antioxidants that hinder the accumulation of extra belly fat. Just make sure not to have them with liver and a nice Chianti! (feeble attempt at humor here).
- Rice with Veggies - Adding veggies (such as carrots, broccoli, kale, and cabbage) to your rice will not only help lower calorie counts, but slow stomach emptying, which will make you feel full longer. Plus, you'll great all the great nutritional benefits of eating those veggies.
For more great advice on diet and nutrition (not to mention additional great recipies and foods to help you manage your weight stave off cholesterol) make sure to frequently check FoodFit.com.
Published On: January 14, 2011