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18 of the Best Foods for Your Healthy Weight Journey

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Healthy bodies come in all sizes and styles. At the same time as weight reduction isn’t a magic bullet for health, and not everyone needs to pursue weight loss, it might be some thing you need to work towards to sense your healthiest.

Coupled with ordinary movement, your weight-reduction plan can affect your health consequences. (just make certain to speak with a healthcare professional before making drastic modifications!)

If dropping weight is your aim, these 18 ingredients can also help guide a healthy weight loss journey, in line with science.

1. Whole eggs

Once feared for being high in cholesterol, whole eggs have been making a comeback.

These fears were rooted in misconceptions that overlooked how your body regulates cholesterol levels. Your body sources it, as needed, from your diet or your liver to maintain its baseline levels

While people with elevated baseline levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol should be more conscious of how much cholesterol they get in their diet, moderate egg consumption — between 7–12 eggs a week — has been proven safe for many people

Although a higher intake of eggs may raise the levels of LDL cholesterol in some people, eggs are one of the best foods to eat if you’re looking to reach or maintain a healthier weight.

Eggs are incredibly nutrient-dense. Interestingly, almost all its nutrients are found in the yolks — like choline and vitamin D — though egg whites deliver 4–6 grams of protein each

Because they’re high in protein and fat, they help you feel full

Healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. While weight loss is not a magic bullet for health, and not everyone needs to pursue weight loss, it might be something you want to work toward to feel your healthiest.

Coupled with regular movement, your diet can affect your health outcomes. (Just make sure to talk with a healthcare professional before making drastic changes!)

If losing weight is your goal, these 18 foods may help support a healthy weight loss journey, according to science.

1. Whole eggs

Once feared for being high in cholesterol, whole eggs have been making a comeback.

These fears were rooted in misconceptions that overlooked how your body regulates cholesterol levels. Your body sources it, as needed, from your diet or your liver to maintain its baseline levels (1Trusted Source).

While people with elevated baseline levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol should be more conscious of how much cholesterol they get in their diet, moderate egg consumption — between 7–12 eggs a week — has been proven safe for many people (1Trusted Source2Trusted Source3Trusted Source4Trusted Source).

Although a higher intake of eggs may raise the levels of LDL cholesterol in some people, eggs are one of the best foods to eat if you’re looking to reach or maintain a healthier weight.

Eggs are incredibly nutrient-dense. Interestingly, almost all its nutrients are found in the yolks — like choline and vitamin D — though egg whites deliver 4–6 grams of protein each (5Trusted Source).

Because they’re high in protein and fat, they help you feel full (6Trusted Source7Trusted Source).

That’s key, because responding to your body’s internal fullness and hunger cues can help you reach or maintain a healthy weight. In other words, getting in the habit of eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full can help your weight loss goals (8Trusted Source9Trusted Source).

A study including 50 healthy people with more weight showed that eating eggs and buttered toast for breakfast — instead of cereal, milk, and orange juice — increased feelings of satiety (fullness) for the next 4 hours (10Trusted Source).

Similarly, another study among 48 healthy adults found that those who ate an egg-based breakfast, either high or moderate in both protein and fiber, reported higher satiety than those who ate low fiber cereal and milk (11Trusted Source).

Since feeling satiated can help combat overeating driven by feeling overly hungry, eating eggs may support your weight loss goals while also packing a ton of healthful nutrients into your day.

2. Leafy greens

Leafy greens include kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, and a few others.

They have several properties that make them perfect for reaching or maintaining a healthy weight. For example, they pack fiber and nutrients that keep you satiated and hydrated.

What’s more, leafy greens contain thylakoids, plant compounds that have been linked with increased satiety and better appetite management in at least two human studies (12Trusted Source13Trusted Source14Trusted Source).

It’s worth noting, however, that both studies are small, and participants took a 5-gram thylakoid supplement — the amount found in about 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw spinach (13Trusted Source14Trusted Source).

Those receiving even a single dose of the supplement reported better appetite management, resulting in weight loss (13Trusted Source14Trusted Source).

However, more research in humans is needed to understand the effect of thylakoids from food sources as a tool for achieving a healthy weight — as well as their long-term effects in supplement form.

In the meantime, leafy greens boast an assortment of fiber and micronutrients and are almost always a great addition to your diet (15Trusted Source16Trusted Source).

Adding leafy greens to your diet can help you feel satiated and reduce cravings for less nutritious foods. Learning to respond to your body’s internal cues of hunger and fullness can aid your larger healthy weight loss goals (8Trusted Source9Trusted Source).

If you’re taking medications, such as blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin), speak with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian about how many leafy greens you should eat daily to find the right balance.

Leafy greens are high in vitamin K, which may interact with your medication. Consistent vitamin K intake is key (17Trusted Source).

3. Salmon

Fatty fish like salmon are incredibly nutritious and very satisfying.

Salmon is loaded with high quality protein, healthy fats, and various important nutrients. That combination keeps you satiated and can help you reach a healthier weight (18Trusted Source).

Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce inflammation. Inflammation plays a major role in obesity and metabolic disease (19Trusted Source20Trusted Source21Trusted Source).

What’s more, fish — and seafood, in general — may also supply a significant amount of iodine.

The nutrient is necessary for proper thyroid function, which is important to keep your metabolism running optimally (22Trusted Source).

But studies show that a significant number of people don’t fill their iodine needs. Adding fatty fish to your diet can help you consume enough iodine (Trusted Source22Trusted Source).

Mackerel, trout, sardines, herring, tuna, and other types of fatty fish are also excellent for your health.

4. Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

Like other vegetables, they’re high in fiber and tend to be incredibly filling.

What’s more, these types of veggies contain decent amounts of protein. They’re not nearly as high in protein as animal foods or legumes, but still high for vegetables (23Trusted Source24Trusted Source25Trusted Source26Trusted Source).

A combination of protein, fiber, and low energy density (low calorie content) makes cruciferous vegetables the perfect foods to include in your meals if you want to lose weight (27Trusted Source).

They’re also highly nutritious and contain compounds that may lower your risk of developing cancer. Keep in mind, though, that no amount of cruciferous vegetables can replace recommended cancer screenings or proper cancer treatment (28Trusted Source).

5. Chicken breast and some lean meats

Meat remains a controversial food group for many people.

Beyond issues of sustainability and ethics, we’re still not sure whether and how red meat raises the risk of heart disease or diabetes.

Research on meat consumption and health outcomes has yielded low evidence of causation.

That language can be confusing, and it’s often misinterpreted as a ringing endorsement to eat more meat, but it simply means that there isn’t enough evidence to say whether it causes unfavorable health outcomes (29Trusted Source30Trusted Source).

However, a high intake of red and processed meats is associated with a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, premature death, and heart disease (31Trusted Source).

Eating unprocessed meat in moderation (i.e., 2–3 servings a week) alongside fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may mitigate some of the cancer risks associated with meat consumption (30Trusted Source).

Nutritionally, chicken and red meat are both high in protein and iron.

Skinless chicken breast and lean red meat like tenderloin or flank steak pack protein and iron and have less saturated fat than other cuts. Opt for these most of the time to better support weight management and heart health.

Saturated fat has been thought to drive inflammation, which is associated with chronic illness. However, research on this, too, has so far yielded mixed results (32Trusted Source33Trusted Source).

How you prepare meat can also affect health outcomes.

Red meat that is cooked at high temperatures for a long duration, by smoking or grilling, for instance, renders fat drippings. Against hot cooking surfaces, these form a toxic by-product called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that may cause cancer (34Trusted Source).

Minimize this risk by limiting smoke, wiping away drippings, and eating lean meat in moderation. This means no more than a few 3-ounce (85-gram) servings per week. A serving is about the size of the palm of your hand (34Trusted Source).

6. Potatoes and other root vegetables

White potatoes seem to have fallen out of favor — possibly, at least in part, due to the rise of lower carb diets.

For what it’s worth, potatoes and other root vegetables have several properties that make them wonderful foods for weight loss and optimal health.

They contain an incredibly diverse range of nutrients — a little bit of almost everything you need.

They’re particularly high in potassium, a nutrient that most people don’t get enough of. Potassium plays an important role in blood pressure management (35Trusted Source).

On a scale called the Satiety Index, which measures how filling different foods are, boiled white potatoes scored the highest of all the foods tested (36Trusted Source).

What this means is that by eating boiled white or sweet potatoes, you’re more likely to naturally feel full. You’ll also be providing your body with essential nutrients.

If you allow potatoes to cool for a while after boiling, they will form high amounts of resistant starch, a fiber-like substance that has been shown to have various health benefits, including weight loss (37Trusted Source).

Sweet potatoes, turnips, and other root vegetables are also excellent choices.

7. Tuna

Tuna is another satiating high protein food.

It’s a lean fish, meaning it has protein, which helps keep you full, as well as healthy fats. Among these healthy fats is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a form of omega-3 fatty acid, which may benefit your heart (22Trusted Source38Trusted Source39Trusted Source).

Eating fish like salmon and tuna can be a great way to increase your protein intake, with nutritious fish fats to support your eyes and brain (39Trusted Source40Trusted Source41Trusted Source).

If you’re eating tuna canned, choose varieties canned in water if you’re aiming to eat fewer calories. Tuna packed in oil ups the calories, fat, and sodium, but could be more filling. It depends on what your needs are that day (42Trusted Source).

8. Beans and legumes

Beans and other legumes can be beneficial for weight loss. These include lentils, black beans, kidney beans, and some others.

Those foods tend to be high in protein and fiber, which are two nutrients that promote satiety. They also tend to contain some resistant starch (43Trusted Source, 44, 45).

Due to their high fiber content, beans can cause gas and bloating in some people. Preparing them properly can help mitigate these side effects, though. Try buying your beans dry and soaking them for several hours before preparing.

9. Soups

Soup can be a delicious way to increase your intake of vegetables and whole grains you may not get enough of otherwise. However, soup varieties that are cream-based or that include processed meats aren’t going to provide the same nutritional boost.

Between the slurping, smelling, tasting, cooling, and chewing, soup takes some people longer to eat than other foods. Eating slowly may help you eat more mindfully. It could also help keep you from eating past fullness (46Trusted Source47Trusted Source48Trusted Source). 

Feeling satisfied and nourishing your body while listening and responding to your body’s hunger and fullness cues are important in reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.

If you would like a richer soup, there are ways to increase its creaminess without the use of heavy cream, which can add less healthy saturated fat.

Try blending in avocado, which helps increase the fiber count of your soup, or cashews. You can also slice avocado on top as a garnish to the soup (49Trusted Source50Trusted Source).

Because soups are inherently liquids, and therefore hydrate you, they may promote fullness and support weight management. Incorporating a vegetable-based clear soup before your meal can be a way to feel more satisfied and to lose weight healthfully (51Trusted Source).

  1. Cottage cheese
    Dairy merchandise tend to be high in protein.

One of the maximum protein-rich dairy products is cottage cheese, that’s on the whole protein.

Ingesting cottage cheese is a amazing manner to boost your protein intake, that is vital for constructing and maintaining muscle. It’s also very satiating and excessive in calcium.

There may also also be a dating among calcium consumption and healthy weight, but greater studies is needed on this region (52Trusted supply, 53Trusted supply).

Different high protein dairy merchandise include Greek yogurt and skyr.

  1. Avocados
    Avocados are particular end result.

Whilst maximum culmination are excessive in carbs, avocados are as a substitute loaded with healthful fats. They’re mainly excessive in monounsaturated oleic acid, the identical sort of fat found in olive oil.

No matter being broadly speaking fat, avocados additionally incorporate a lot of water and fiber, making them greatly satiating.

What’s greater, they’re a super addition to vegetable-primarily based salads, as research show that their fat content material can boom how a lot of the carotenoid antioxidants your frame absorbs from greens. In truth, it is able to growth absorption by using four.6–12.6 instances (54Trusted supply).

In truth, they help take in other essential fat-soluble nutrients (vitamins A, D, E, and ok). Avocados additionally incorporate many vital nutrients, consisting of fiber and potassium.

It’s really worth keeping in mind that avocados are power-dense, so being aware of portions is key whilst weight reduction is your purpose. The more you exercise taking your body’s inner starvation and fullness cues, the extra you may intuitively inform what the right amount is for you at that time (8Trusted supply, 9Trusted source).

  1. Nuts
    Nuts are excessive fats ingredients that also provide you with protein, fiber, and different plant compounds that gain coronary heart health (55Trusted supply, 56Trusted source).

They make top notch snacks in view that they contain balanced quantities of protein, fiber, and wholesome fat (57Trusted supply).

Studies have shown that consuming nuts can improve metabolic fitness or even sell weight loss (58Trusted supply).

What’s greater, population research have proven that folks that consume nuts generally tend to get greater nutrients and be at a more fit weight than folks that don’t (59Trusted supply).

Like any high fats food, you’ll want to bear in mind which you’re eating only to the point of satiety. So, do thoughts your portion sizes if your aim is to shed pounds.

Attempt ingesting a handful of unsalted nuts at the beginning, and spot the way you feel after approximately 15–20 minutes. If you still experience hungry, attempt half of another handful and deliver yourself some time to digest.

Thirteen. Entire grains
Current research show that a food regimen rich in whole grains can assist help healthy weight loss (60Trusted supply).

Cereal grains may be healthful parts of your weight loss plan and can benefit your metabolic fitness (61Trusted supply).

That’s because they’re loaded with fiber and incorporate a respectable amount of protein. Amazing examples consist of oats, brown rice, and quinoa.

Oats are loaded with beta-glucans, which might be soluble fibers that may boom satiety and enhance metabolic fitness (62Trusted supply, 63Trusted source).

Both brown and white rice can comprise widespread amounts of resistant starch, specially if cooked and then allowed to chill in a while.

Even as white rice is absolutely adequate, brown rice packs introduced nutrients — specially fiber — which may also aid your healthful weight loss journey.

Understand that subtle grains (i.E., white bread and most business baked goods) are adequate, as long as you devour them in moderation and don’t make them the foundation of your food plan.

Additionally understand that sometimes, ingredients with “whole grain” at the label are ultra-processed, and they could make a contribution to undesirable weight advantage when eaten in extra.

  1. Chili pepper
    Eating chili peppers may be beneficial on a weight reduction weight loss program.

They contain capsaicin, a substance that makes warm peppers like chilis spicy.

A few studies show that capsaicin can improve how fast your body metabolizes fat and might growth your sensation of fullness. Together, those can also help your healthful weight loss adventure (64Trusted supply, 65Trusted supply).

The substance is even sold in supplement shape and is a not unusual factor in many business weight loss dietary supplements. That’s because research show that capsaicin dietary supplements can also growth metabolism.

A evaluation have a look at observed that this effect handiest yielded an average of 33 energy greater burned consistent with day than individuals who did no longer complement with capsaicin, even though. Extra studies is wanted to study this effect, mainly with reference to capsaicin from meals sources (66Trusted supply, 67Trusted source, 68Trusted source).

Plus, there has been no effect in people who had been familiar with consuming highly spiced meals, indicating that a sure level of tolerance can building up (69Trusted source).

  1. Fruit
    Most fitness experts agree that fruit is healthy.

Numerous population research have proven that individuals who devour the most fruit and vegetables tend to be healthier than folks who don’t (70Trusted supply, 71Trusted source, 72Trusted source).

Most culmination have residences that lead them to great for supporting you reap or preserve a healthful weight. So, there’s no need to shrink back from them in your fitness adventure.

Despite the fact that fruits contain natural sugar, they have a low strength density and are loaded with micronutrients. Plus, their fiber content material allows save you the sugar from being launched too quick into your bloodstream.

Individuals who can also want to avoid or limit fruit are those on a totally low carb weight loss plan or who’ve an intolerance. Most fruits may be effective and scrumptious additions for your healthful weight adventure.

  1. Grapefruit
    Grapefruit is high in fiber and vitamins and may sell feelings of fullness.

In an older examine from 2006 following 91 individuals with weight problems for 12 weeks, ingesting 1/2 of a sparkling grapefruit earlier than meals led to weight loss of 3.5 kilos (1.6 kg) (73Trusted source).

The grapefruit group also had decreased insulin resistance, a metabolic condition.

Therefore, ingesting half a grapefruit about half an hour earlier than food can also help you experience extra satiated and devour fewer average energy. But, considering that this isn’t always a sustainable practice, you’re higher off consuming an expansion of fruits and veggies at each meal (74Trusted supply).

Keep away from grapefruit and its juice in case you’re taking certain medicines, like statins or blood pressure medicines, as it may augment or interfere with their results (75Trusted supply).

We still want more human research into the outcomes of grapefruit on weight loss and weight management.

  1. Chia seeds
    Chia seeds may be the various maximum nutritious foods on the planet.

They comprise 12 grams of carbs consistent with ounce (28 grams), almost 10 grams of which might be fiber (76Trusted source).

Consequently, chia seeds are a low carb meals, yet it’s one of the pleasant resources of fiber within the global at 35% fiber by weight (76Trusted source).

Due to their high fiber content, chia seeds make bigger and flip gel-like for your stomach (77Trusted source).

One have a look at in 24 adults found that people who ate either zero.33 ounces (7 grams) or zero.Five ounces (14 grams) of chia seeds with yogurt as a mid-morning snack had multiplied feelings of satiety (78Trusted supply).

What’s more, chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which might also in addition support weight control (76Trusted source, 21Trusted source).

Given their nutrient composition, chia seeds might be a beneficial part of your healthy weight adventure (79Trusted source).

  1. Complete fats (entire) Greek yogurt
    Yogurt is every other excellent dairy product.

Greek yogurt is mainly exquisite for weight control, as it has twice the quantity of protein as regular yogurt (80Trusted supply).

What’s more, sure varieties of yogurt, which includes Greek yogurt, incorporate probiotic bacteria that can improve the function of your intestine (80Trusted supply).

Look for labels that consist of the language “live cultures” or “lively cultures” for an delivered intestine fitness increase. In case you don’t see those, appearance within the substances list for a mixture of probiotic strains, consisting of S. Thermophilus or Bifidus.

Having a healthy intestine may help guard towards irritation in addition to leptin resistance, that is one of the primary hormonal drivers of obesity.

Make sure to select yogurt with stay, lively cultures, as other varieties of yogurt might also contain sincerely no probiotics.

Also, do not forget selecting full fats yogurt. Whilst the proof continues to be combined, some research display that complete fat dairy — but not low fat dairy — is associated with a reduced danger of developing obesity and kind 2 diabetes over time (81Trusted supply, 82Trusted supply, 83Trusted source, 84Trusted supply).

Flavored or sweetened low fats yogurt typically has fillers or brought sugars to atone for texture, so it’s pleasant to eat it best on occasion and to check the vitamins label if you’re seeking to keep away from the ones components.

The lowest line
Many foods are delicious, nutritious, and supportive of your desires to reach or keep a more healthy weight. These are in particular whole meals like fish, lean meat, veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

A few minimally processed ingredients, including probiotic yogurt and oatmeal, are also exquisite picks.

Together with moderation and ordinary exercise, consuming those nutritious meals need to help pave the way to a healthful life.

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