Last week I told you about superfoods that can help you lose weight quickly, foods like grapefruit, pumpkin, berries, sardines, and grass-fed beef. Here are five more superfoods that pack a ton of nutrition into a relatively small number of calories, filling you up, stabilizing your blood sugar, and making it far less likely that you’ll go on a waist-busting binge.
Nuts About Nuts…
Nuts should be a staple of your weight-control diet. I realize this piece of advice may be contrary to much of what you’ve heard about nuts being “fattening,” but nonetheless it’s absolutely true.
While nuts are high in calories and probably shouldn’t be eaten by the fistful, a very substantial number of important studies have demonstrated that regular inclusion of nuts in the diet lowers the risk for coronary heart disease by double digits4. Other research shows positive effects on the risk of dementia, stroke, and diabetes.
And the current evidence is clear that a moderate intake of nuts doesn’t cause weight gain5. In the Nurses’ Health Study, one of the largest epidemiological studies, frequent nut consumers were actually a bit thinner than those who didn’t indulge. The “magic” amount seems to be about five ounces a week, or 1 to 1.5 ounces about five times a week.
Among the superfoods of the world, guava is a sleeper. With a taste that’s been described as “part strawberry part pear,” one cup of this vitamin-rich, low-calorie fruit contains a whopping 8 grams of fiber, a well-known aid to weight control (not to mention digestive health).
And in one widely used test of antioxidant power, guava scored second only to blueberries. Plus, guava contains lycopene, a cancer-fighting antioxidant also found in tomatoes.
Kale is a member of the Brassica family, vegetable royalty that boasts cabbage and broccoli among its relatives. It’s rich in potent cancer fighting substances called indoles, and loaded with bone-building vitamin K.
Kale also contains sulforaphane, a powerful nutrient that helps the liver detoxify carcinogens and other toxins. Kale has the highest antioxidant rating of any vegetable and is ridiculously low in calories.
Try it tossed with olive oil, a few dried cranberries and some pine nuts.
Eggs are the protein source against which all others are judged. They’re also one of the best weight control foods on the planet.
Research has shown that choosing eggs for breakfast helps people manage hunger while lowering calorie consumption throughout the rest of the day6,7,8. And, for goodness sake, stop with the egg-white omelets — they’re so 1980s. The yolk is loaded with good stuff like lutein, the superstar of eye nutrition and choline, which helps support brain function.
The little bit of fat in the yolk contributes mightily to the feeling of sustained fullness and satisfaction. Don’t be afraid of it!
Blood-Sugar Busting Beans…
Fiber is the secret weapon in weight-control. It fills you up, slowing the entrance of sugar into the blood system and preventing the blood sugar spikes that frequently lead to hunger and cravings. Fiber also normalizes bowel movements, helps maintain bowel health, reduces the risk of type ll diabetes, and aids in weight loss.
And no food on the planet supplies as much fiber as beans, logging in 12–17 grams a cup. They are also a great source of protein, typically providing 12–17 grams per single cup.
Beans are also a fabulous source of antioxidants. Research on the areas of the globe where people routinely live to 100 in vibrant good health showed that beans were a staple in the diets of all four of the areas studied (known as “The Blue Zones”).
Truly Super Foods…
It’s no small coincidence that the same foods that help you control your weight happen to be the same ones that confer a wide spectrum of health benefits. Rather than focusing on what not to eat, try building your diet around the foods mentioned here.
The only “side effect” of this weight loss plan is a major improvement in your overall health and well-being.
Great article Dr Jonny … some of my fave foods are listed there! What’s your take on nut butters as opposed to whole nuts? If you get a good quality one it’s much the same thing, just that I often find people (myself included!) easily over-indulge in them …
thanks Dr. B!!
Kat, I’m in the same boat as you! I look for only the most “natural” peanut (and cashew) butter that I can find – the problem is a lot of the time I just can’t help myself but have another slice 😛
PS. I love reading your stuff Jonny! You bring the words to life 🙂