by Janet Nash, Registered Dietitian
To lose weight, you have to make good choices about the food you eat. It’s not always simple. Fat-filled, high-calorie snacks are easy to find and consume. Healthy foods, like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins often require a little more preparation. So eating foods that will help you lose weight requires planning. To set yourself up for success, start at the grocery store and add the following foods to your cart.
When it comes to healthy eating, virtually any fruit or vegetable will help you make your way toward your goal. Fruits high in water and fiber are my top choices. Watermelon, grapefruit and berries are low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals — powerful antioxidants that can help boost your immune system and help prevent disease.
Quinoa is nutrition superstar and a great addition to your menu. It’s high in iron and fiber, and has twice as much protein than white rice. Quinoa is also low on the glycemic index — meaning it won’t make your blood sugar spike and crash. However, it still contains a similar amount of calories as grains. When cooked, brown rice, white rice and quinoa all contain about 200-240 calories per cup, so you still need to pay attention to portion size.
Sweet potatoes or yams
A smart starch choice is the sweet potato or yam. These orange, yellow and even purple root vegetables are higher in fiber and beta-carotene than white potatoes and processed grains.
Beans are another excellent option for people who are trying to slim down. High in fiber and protein, they will help keep your blood sugar levels stable and extend the feeling of fullness longer. From black beans to chickpeas, there are plenty of options on the shelf.
When it comes to protein-rich foods, salmon is near the top of the list. The fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to boost both heart and brain health. Salmon is also relatively low in calories.
For many years, eggs got a bad rap for containing high cholesterol. Recent findings have shown that moderate consumption — up to one a day — can be part of a healthy diet. Also, eggs are relatively low in calories and high in protein.
If you need a sweet treat throughout the day, stock up on low-fat Greek yogurt. It contains twice as much protein than regular yogurt and nearly the same amount of calories. Buy the plain kind and sweeten it with fresh fruit.
This health and wellness tip was provided by Janet Nash, a registered dietitian at Scripps Clinic Center for Weight Management.
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