As long as we are eating the right kinds, food really is the cure for much of what ails us health wise. When it comes to losing weight, we might feel that eating less food will help us in our quest. However, not eating enough is as much a culprit in us gaining weight as is eating too much.
In order to lose weight safely and effectively, we have to use the right foods in a balanced way. For this post, I’ll focus on some of the best foods for weight loss available to anyone seeking to lose weight or to enhance their general well-being. These are foods that are easy to acquire from any well-stocked supermarket or if you prefer, you can purchase online and have them delivered to your home.
Avocados saved me during my stint with the keto diet and it continues to aid my weight loss goals today and every day. Avocados are among the top best foods for weight loss for several reasons a few of which I’ll discuss here. First of all, what exactly is an avocado?
The avocado is a fruit distinguished by its pear-like shape, and hard brittle skin that covers pale green, firm and fatty flesh. Avocados also have a large pit or seed firmly ensconced in the middle of the fruit. There are several varieties, shapes and sizes of avocados including the well-known Haas avocado.
Avocados are usually purchased while still green and will ripen at home within a few days of purchase. This makes it the perfect portable food for any course or occasion. The taste of avocados can be described as neutrally herbal and its texture is smooth and creamy. Avocados are also versatile and can be used as an ingredient in dessert as well as savory applications. Of course, it’s also perfect by itself!
Here are some of the reasons that avocados are among the best foods for weight loss:
- High in good fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats
- High in fiber
- No cholesterol
- Low carbohydrates (perfect for keto or low carb diets)
- High in vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Magnesium
- Can spoil quickly if not consumed when ripe
- Flesh can oxidize (darken) when exposed to air (remedied by a few drops of lemon juice)
Just eating one medium or large avocado along with a bit of protein will keep you feeling full for hours without compromising your way of eating – especially if you’re doing a keto or low carb diet. This makes it a perfect addition to your weight loss food arsenal.
Like avocados, there are lots of types of fish available for our consumption. However, there are some fish that are better than others when it comes to our health and helping us lose weight. This largely depends on the type of fish and the conditions in which they are caught.
In my opinion, it is best to eat fish that are wild-caught but there are some farmed varieties that are okay to consume depending on where they are farmed and the aqua-culture practices employed by the fish farm. When purchasing wild-caught fish, make sure you are buying fish that is sustainable (not over-fished), fish that is low in mercury and fish that has a good layer of fat. Among my favorite fish for weight loss:
- Wild-caught King Salmon (high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and good fats)
- Cod fish (low fat, firm-fleshed fish that’s high in protein and a good source of niacin and vitamin B-12)
- King fish (delicious, lean, firm-fleshed fish with few bones. Excellent source of protein and low in cholesterol)
- Sardines (small fatty fish full of vitamins and minerals and low mercury levels)
Eating these varieties of fish when on a weight loss regimen gives you a two-fold advantage: great source of healthy, lean protein paired with delicious flavor. Salmon and King fish are especially appetizing and cod fish is the perfect vehicle for spices and seasonings.
Incorporating fish into your way of eating will definitely help you to lose or maintain a healthy weight. Explore to find the types you enjoy making sure to stay away from varieties like king mackerel, swordfish, shark and yellow fin tuna which contain high levels of mercury.
Cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, bok-choy, brussels sprouts and similar green leafy vegetables. I’ll be the first to admit that these vegetables are not beloved by a lot of people because some of them can be bitter and tough in texture. Broccoli and brussels sprouts tend to be the most hated among the cruciferous vegetables, even a former American President (Bush the First) publicly expressed his dislike for broccoli!
Cruciferous vegetables are among some of the best foods for weight loss and general good health for a variety of reasons including the following:
- High in fiber (keeps you full longer and helps to keep things moving)
- Great source of phyto-nutrients that lower inflammation and reduces cancer risk)
- Low in calories (eat as much as you like)
- High in vitamins E, C and K
Incorporating two or three cups of cruciferous vegetables to your daily diet will help you lose weight by keeping you fuller for longer while fueling your body with powerful, anti-inflammatory nutrients. You can make cruciferous vegetables more palatable by using different cooking methods to bring out their roasty sweetness. For example, cook brussels sprouts by cutting them in half and tossing them in a bit of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes and enjoy.
Nuts & Seeds
You’ll notice that there is great diversity among the foods that I have mentioned thus far, and nuts and seeds are no exception. According to Wikipedia, “a nut is a fruit composed of an inedible hard shell and a seed, which is generally edible. In general usage, a wide variety of dried seeds are called nuts, but in a botanical context “nut” implies that the shell does not open to release the seed.” Some of the more common or familiar varieties of nuts and seeds include:
- Filberts (hazelnuts)
- Hemp Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Nuts and seeds are nutrient dense, containing high levels of fats and other essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, vitamin B, calcium, zinc, and potassium as well as antioxidants like selenium, copper and manganese.
Nuts and seeds are also high in fiber. The combination of high fat and high fiber make nuts and seeds great for weight loss, especially if you’re following the keto diet where high fat consumption is required. Because they are so high in fat, it is only recommended eating a handful of nuts and seeds every day.
Eating Clean Will Get You There
There you have it, the best foods for weight loss. By adding these foods to your diet and following a sensible eating plan you too can achieve your ideal weight goals as well as greatly enhancing your health. Continue to eat these and other clean (unprocessed) foods and you will attain optimal health.
So do you enjoy any of these foods? Let me know in the comments! Until next time: Happy Eating!