Here is a list of healthy foods anyone should consider. These items not only improve your health, but can also help reduce your weight.
- The majority of fresh fruit and vegetables (especially green vegetables and orange vegetables) – due to their high content of vitamins, minerals and fiber, and almost complete absence of fats and bad carbs.
Here are a few examples of fruit that are particularly helpful for weight loss:
- Berries (including Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries)
- Honeydew melon
All the items above have very low calorie content per serving and extremely favorable glycemic load.
- Nuts (including walnuts, pecans almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, cashews, macadamia, etc) rank extremely high on the list of healthy foods.
All members of the “nut” family listed above contain high amounts of mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, which are beneficial for health (especially for the cardiovascular system). Walnuts, in particular, have exceptionally high content of omega-3 fatty acids: 7 walnuts (or 14 halves) deliver 2.3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids – which is the daily requirement of omega-3 fatty acids for an adult.
Omega-3 fatty acids are proven to increase the ratio of “good cholesterol” (HDL cholesterol). Moreover, it appears that omega-3 fatty acids have widespread beneficial effects throughout the body, improving the function of all body systems. Among others, they have marked positive effects on brain function, including improved memory and better mood.
Note: Nuts should be eaten regularly, but in moderation – since they are rather caloric: For instance, 7 walnuts (or 14 halves) bring in about 180 calories (which is a reasonable portion).
Note: When eaten in adequate amounts, foods with high content of omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for weight loss and weight control. As such, nuts are advisable in a weight control diet.
One notable exception is the coconut fruit and coconut milk. These contain high amounts of saturated fat, and should not be consumed regularly. They do not deliver health advantages similar to the other types of nuts.
- Fish and fish oil rank high among health foods, due to their high amount of omega-3 fatty acids and low amount of saturated fat.
Additionally, fish contains valuable phosphorus and lean protein (both of which are beneficial for weight loss).can be found in fish oil, wild fish (more so than farm fish),
Note: Wild fish has significantly higher content of omega-3 fatty acids as compared to farm fish (due to the fact wild fish eat algae which are high in omega-3, whereas farm fish are fed a grain-based diet low in omega-3).
- Flaxseed oil is another item on our list of healthy foods – due to its high content of omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber.
- Olive oil earns its place on our list due to its relatively high amount of monounsaturated fat (believed to have protective effects for the cardiovascular system).
For the same reason, canola oil, peanut oil, grape seed oil, corn oil, avocados, and peanut butter also make it to the list of healthy foods.
- Whole grain breads and cereals, eaten in adequate portions, are healthy foods and important staples of a weight control diet. They contain high amounts of fiber (both soluble and insoluble), vitamin factors, and “good carbs” (carbs of low glycemic index).
- Lean meat products such as chicken breast or turkey breast, lean ham, etc – earn their spot on our list of healthy foods due to their low content of saturated fat and high content of quality protein. Protein furnishes the necessary energy to sustain the weight loss effort.
- Fat free dairy products, such as fat-free milk and fat-free yogurt, are healthy food items bringing in plenty of calcium and high amounts of protein.
- Soy products contain high amounts of quality protein, a sizable amount of unsaturated fats (heart-healthy fats) and low amount of saturated fats.
- Green tea and Oolong tea are deemed to be health foods “par-excellance”, due to the extremely high levels of natural antioxidants they contain. These antioxidants are believed to rejuvenate all body systems, and play an important role in weight loss. The active substances in green tea and oolong tea are polyphenols and catechins, especially EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). These substances appear to accelerate fat metabolism (i.e., burn fat at a higher rate), lower LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”), and protect against diseases such as cancer, blood clots and cardiovascular disorders. Additionally, green tea and oolong tea contain caffeine (similar to black tea), and this caffeine acts as a fat burner to facilitate weight loss.
- A controversial item on our list of healthy foods is chocolate. It has been claimed that chocolate has antioxidants which make it a healthy food item. On the other hand, chocolate (especially milk-chocolate) also contains significant amounts of saturated fat and sugars, which may negate the health benefits above. As such, we’ll compromise: We will list dark chocolate on our list of healthy foods, with the notice it has to be consumed in reasonable amounts.
It is highly advisable to integrate the food items above into any weight control program, but again beware: Ultimately, the key to success is still PORTION CONTROL.