2017 Best Superfoods For Weight Loss & Burning Belly Fat
top 10 superfoods list
6. Purple sweet potatoes
You won’t hear the Atkins diet crowd saying you should eat a potato because gasp
they contain carbs! Well news flash… carbs are actually needed in your diet for energy.
Just like most nutrients, in moderation they’re healthy, in excess they’re not.
Eliminating the largest category is foolish.
Even if you want to consume less, you still need plenty of carbs on a daily basis.
Not only are sweet potatoes very high in antioxidants,
but if you prepare them the right way an entire potato is only around 130 calories.
That can be a very filling and nutritious portion of your lunch or dinner!
How people use them
We have a low calorie recipe for how to cook a purple sweet potato, which includes info on where you might be able to buy them. But be warned, there’s not a fast method to prepare them (at least one that’s healthy).
Like all nuts, almonds are not a low calorie food.
A small 1 ounce serving (about 23 whole almonds) comes in at 162 calories
with 70% of those calories coming from fat.
Many say you should shun foods like this
when you’re on a weight loss diet. In excess, we totally agree.
But having a 1 ounce serving a few times per week may not be a bad idea based on the research.
There have been about 20 clinical trials done on nuts and weight and not a single one showed the gain one would expect.
Sure some showed a gain (and some studies intended for that) but even then,
the amount gained was less than what should have occurred based on the calories.
For example on a peanut study,
mathematically they should have gained 8 lbs but actually only gained 2 lbs .
Similar results were found in other studies involving walnuts.
For almonds specifically, there was a study
where 81 male and female participants consumed
2 servings per day (320 calories worth) for 6 straight months.
Mathematically, they should have each gained 16 pounds over that period of time from the additional 320 calories per day.
But the results didn’t show that… despite all that, the women
on average only gained about 1/4 of a pound!
In fact the amount was too small to even statistically relevant.
The almonds did not result in “statistically or biologically significant changes in body weight.”
How is this possible? Doesn’t this violate the first law of thermodynamics?
No, it doesn’t. Researchers still aren’t quite sure where the missing calories are going,
but theories have been proposed such as nut consumption reduces appetite (so you eat less later on).
Most compelling is the research suggesting that
the flavonoid phytonutrients found in nuts boosts how much fat you burn.
How people use them
Obviously there are a million ways,
but we prefer to add a 1/2 to 1 ounce serving
(about 12 to 23 almonds) to oatmeal or cereal in the morning.
We’re not making any claims as to whether or not that works,
especially since that is just one of many methods we use in our daily diet.
No miracle foods for belly fat are touted here.
Rather we can only report on ourselves as of today,
none of the men here have a body fat percentage above 7%.
We eat huge amounts of food, but we also exercise 5 to 6x per week.
8. Chili pepper (in any form)
Not everyone is a fan of spicy food, but if you are there are actually health benefits
of advantages of consuming them.
As a spice, whether it’s cayenne powder or plain black pepper, they’re high in antioxidants.
The same holds true for the fresh peppers.
In fact, dried jalapenos have 2x the antioxidants as fresh blueberries when compared on an equal weight basis (but of course you can consume berries in abundance, spicy peppers must be consumed in much smaller amounts).
For obesity, these foods may offer benefits too.
Capsaicin the phytochemical which makes them spicy has been shown to
increase metabolism in a plethora of studies.
It has also been shown to reduce appetite.
If you like the heat and can handle it,
then these two characteristics make hot chili peppers
a great diet food/ingredient to include in your meals.
How people use them
Most people use them the wrong way. Hot sauce is a low calorie condiment but sadly, almost every major brand on the market is very high in sodium. When you’re consuming chili for losing weight, chances are you’re using a few servings worth, which makes the sodium especially problematic.
Not only does sodium contribute to risk of heart disease and stroke, but it also adds to your water weight. The more salt you take in, the more water your body stores.
The solution? Using dried spice powder is best, which has zero added salt. Carry a jar in your purse to use at restaurants. If you must use a prepared hot sauce, Tabasco has a lot less salt than Frank’s Red Hot, Tapatio, Cholula, Huy Fong Sriracha (the main brand with the red rooster logo) isn’t terribly high, but it still has about 2x as much as Tabasco.
A number of studies have suggested that cinnamon may have a positive impact on blood sugar levels.
In fact, in one British study involving 7 healthy (non-diabetic) males,
it was shown that by supplementing with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon the night before an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT),
the men could actually “cheat” the results when the test was performed the next morning.
What do blood sugar levels have to do with shedding pounds
Because high levels can promote the accumulation of more body fat,
since any blood sugar that is not burned for energy or stored as glycogen is converted into fatty deposits.
Some have claimed cinnamon is a food that fights the abdomen specifically,
but we are not aware of any reputable studies which validate or suggest that.
How people use it
You have to be careful. Cassia cinnamon,
which is by far the most common kind, actually contains a phytochemical called coumarin,
which can damage your liver.
It’s not just some conspiracy theory either,
in many countries they have strict guidelines on cinnamon consumption.
For example in Germany, the government says as little as 2 grams
per day can cause the side effects.
That’s less than half a teaspoon per day!
The other form, ceylon cinnamon, is is much less common since it’s more expensive.
It doesn’t have the dangers of that toxin,
but at the same time studies have shown ceylon to have less impact on blood sugar.
The conclusion Cassia cinnamon should only be consumed in moderation by healthy individuals or as directed by your doctor.
high plains of Ethiopia
Teff grows in the high plains of East African countries, primarily Ethiopia
What is teff? It’s a gluten free supergrain your diet shouldn’t be without.
It’s the same stuff which is used in that spongy bread you get at Ethiopian restaurants.
It’s already a favorite among those on a gluten free diet because it’s the best grain for creating that fluffy “real” bread texture without wheat or eggs. In the future, it may also become a favorite superfood for those trying to lose weight.
No human studies have been conducted to the best of our knowledge,
though an interesting animal study was conducted by Pennsylvania State University and published in the Journal of Animal Science
In the study, obese horses were fed a composition of teff hay.
It was said to be “an excellent forage choice for obese horses.” In the concluding statements about using it for horses:
“Feeding teff hay may offer an effective strategy to decrease dietary DE (digestible energy) and help to reduce BW (body weight).”
Of course humans are not horses, but we are both mammals and not the small kinds (unlike mouse or rat studies). Whether or not it should be counted among weight loss foods is something future research will need to determine.
However what we do know is that teff is a supergrain packed with minerals, vitamins, and protein (1 cup provides 26 grams of protein). With high amounts of fiber (15 grams per cup) and low amounts of fat (only 7% of calories) it is a perfect diet food to use in your meals.
How people use it
You can use it in anything ? breads, pizza crust, pancakes, you name it. What we often do is a blend of 1/3 to 1/2 teff with the remainder being brown rice flour and for more heartier dishes, some buckwheat.