Fitness magazine gives the low-down on the best foods we can eat to help us take the high road to leaner and flatter abs. Of course, we must still exercise to tone up our bellies. Yet, we can help our efforts by eating the right kinds of foods that provide all the nutrients we need.
Julie Meyer, a registered dietitian who wrote the article, her top 10 foods are: • Almonds.
They contain protein, fiber, energy-creating magnesium, and vitamin E, a powerful disease-fighting antioxidant. The magnesium also helps regulate the levels of sugar in our blood, which will ward off cravings for food. And many of us know what food cravings lead to. • Eggs.
The best protein source of ‘em all. They provide essential “amino acids,” proteins used by our bodies to create muscle fibers, brain chemicals and a bunch of other healthy material. Most doctors recommend one egg a day. • Apples.
Overweight women who added to their diets three apples or pears a day for three months shed more pounds than women who had the same diets but ate oat cookies rather than fruits, according to a study in Nutrition. Meyer suggests an apple or two a day, especially Red Delicious, Cortland and Northern Spy varieties with the highest antioxidant activity. • Soy.
Meyer recommends roasted soybeans for snacks, shelled edamame in soups, and mixing tofu into a “smoothie.” • Berries.
Loaded with fiber. Health experts recommend between 25 and 35 grams of fiber a day, which allows our bodies to absorb fewer calories from other foods. Meyer recommends at least a half cup daily, which is 30 calories, of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, boysenberries, gooseberries and black currants. • Leafy green vegetables.
Meyer’s kudos go to spinach, broccoli, arugula and broccoli. • Yogurt.
People who get calcium from yogurt rather than other dairy sources or supplements may lose more weight in the belly, suggests a recent study in the International Journal of Obesity. Healthy bacteria in most yogurts help keep our digestive systems in working shape. • Vegetable soup.
People who eat broth-based or low-fat, cream-based soups twice daily lose weight more easily than people who consume the same amount of calories in snacks. Soup fans also maintain a total weight loss of 16 pounds after one year, according to a study at Penn State University. • Seafood,
especially “fatty fish” like salmon, tuna and mackerel, which are packed with omega-3 fatty acids that may help promote the burning of fat. An Australian study suggested that people who ate fish daily improved their glucose-insulin response, which helps folks avoid cravings. • Quinoa.
A whole grain that contains five grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein per half cup. Pronounce it KEEN-wah. It has a nutty flavor and “crunchy-yet-chewy” texture, said Meyer, who recommends at least one-half cup serving.