1. Cherries – Pain relief without the side-effects
Not only are these beautiful, luscious mini-fruits a wonderful snack, they are known to be great for warding off pain and inflammation according to researchers at Michigan State University. Antioxidants called anthocyanins block certain enzymes from sending pain signals to the brain. Who would have thought that two cups of this summer favorite could be better than two aspirin. Additionally, new research suggests that they are linked to reducing risks for heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancers. Want a good night sleep? Eat a cup of ripe cherries an hour before bed. They contain melatonin, a natural chemical that the body needs to regulate sleep patterns.
2. Blueberries – Brain food, Fat-burner, “Super Food”
Wow, what a great way to get smarter, thinner, and healthier! The great thing about blueberries is they are so versatile and easy to eat. Smoothies, pancakes, fruit salad, yogurt, all just a few ways to enjoy them. And, adding just a half a cup of this antioxidant-filled fruit to your daily menu can help neutralize free radicals that damage cells. They also protect our bodies from developing cataracts, glaucoma, varicose veins, and certain cancers, according to Lynda Johnson, R.D., Nutrition & Health Education Specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
Because of the sugar-balancing attributes of blueberries, you can fend off cravings that naturally lead to bad choices, the sugar-high/crash syndrome, and weight gain. Start eating those little blue powerhouses and shave off up to 5% of your body weight in six months. The key is consistency as the researchers at Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas have learned.
3. Watermelon – A Sleep aid?
This is one that I did not know. Watermelon contains chemicals that speed up the body’s production of tryptophan and serotonin, both brain compounds that trigger sleep. Australian researchers have found that just one cup of the juicy favorite before bedtime can lull you to sleep twice as fast as those who don’t eat it. The picnic staple is also 90% water which hydrates, refreshes, and sends an “I’m full” signal to your brain so you think twice about that second helping of pie.
4. Carrots – Beauty Treatment
We have long known some of the powerful benefits of eating carrots. I, for one, love the taste and the satisfying crunchiness of the veggie; in salads, juiced, and just by themselves raw are several ways I enjoy them. Recently, I found another benefit besides the carotenoids (metabolic precursors to vitamin A) and the generous supply of beta-carotene; carrots are fabulous for topical beauty treatments. For an at home facial, try the following recipe for supple, glowing skin.
Carrot-Honey Mask (Normal to Oily Skin)
2-3 large carrots,
4 1/2 Tablespoons of honey
Cook the carrots and mash together with the honey. Gently apply to dry face; wait 10 minutes.Rinse with warm water. For those of you who prefer to buy your products, try Yes To Carrots Night Moisturizing Cream, Dry to Sensitive Skin, , 1.7-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 2).
5. Plums – Get Bikini Ready
With just one plum a day you can shrink those spider veins and flush out unwanted fat. According to studies, the high levels of vitamin K help produce a clotting agent called thrombin that heals and fades bruises and varicose veins. And, a high content of vitamin C helps your body to digest food more quickly so fats and toxins don’t even get the chance to absorb. Sounds like a winning combo for a sexy bikini body-or at least one that looks better in summer apparel.
Next time you go shopping pick up some or all of these seasonal foods for a nutritional boost that will make you healthy and beautiful from the inside out. I hope you have a wonderful summer! Be well.
#1: High fructose corn syrup is worse than table sugar
Whether or not added sugar is bad for you has never been in dispute. The less sugar you eat, the better. But whether HFCS is worse than plain ol’ table sugar has long been a contentious issue. Here’s what you need to know: Both HFCS and table sugar, or sucrose, are built with roughly a 50-50 blend of two sugars, fructose, and glucose. That means in all likelihood that your body can’t tell one from the other—they’re both just sugar. HFCS’s real sin is that it’s supercheap, and as a result, it’s added to everything from cereal to ketchup to salad dressing. Plus it may be affecting your health in ways not yet fully understood by the scientific community. Is it a good idea to minimize the HFCS in your diet? Absolutely. It’s best to cut out all unnecessary sugars. But HFCS’s role as nutritional enemy #1 has been exaggerated.
#2: Sea salt is a healthier version of regular salt
Everyday table salt comes from a mine and contains roughly 2,300 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon. Sea salt comes from evaporated seawater, and it also contains roughly 2,300 milligrams of sodium. That makes them, well, roughly identical. Advocates point to the fact that sea salt also contains other compounds like magnesium and iron, but in truth, these minerals exist in trace amounts. To obtain a meaningful dose, you’d have to take in extremely high and potentially dangerous levels of sodium. What’s more, traditional table salt is regularly fortified with iodine, which plays an important role in regulating the hormones in your body. Sea salt, on the other hand, gives you virtually zero iodine. The bottom line is this: If switching from table salt to sea salt causes you to consume even one extra granule, then you’ve just completely snuffed out whatever elusive health boon you hope to receive. Plus you’ve wasted a few bucks
#3: Energy drinks are less harmful than soda
Energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, and Full Throttle attempt to boost your energy with a cache of B vitamins, herbal extracts, and amino acids. But what your body’s going to remember most (especially around your waistline) is the sugar in these concoctions; a 16-ounce can delivers as much as 280 calories of pure sugar, which is about 80 calories more than you’d find in a 16-ounce cup of Pepsi. What’s more, a University of Maryland study found energy drinks to be 11 percent more corrosive to your teeth than regular soda. So here’s the secret that energy drink companies don’t want you to know: The only proven, significant energy boost comes from caffeine. If you want an energy boost, save yourself the sugar spike and drink a cup of coffee.
#4: Diet soda is harmless
The obesity-research community is becoming increasingly aware that the artificial sweeteners used in diet soda—aspartame and sucralose, for instance—lead to hard-to-control food urges later in the day. One Purdue study discovered that rats took in more calories if they’d been fed artificial sweeteners prior to mealtime, and a University of Texas study found that people who consume just three diet sodas per week were more than 40 percent more likely to be obese. Try weaning yourself off by switching to carbonated water and flavoring with lemon, cucumber, and fresh herbs.
#5: Low-fat foods are better for you
As it applies to food marketing, the term “low fat” is synonymous with “loaded with salt and cheap carbohydrates.” For instance, look at Smucker’s Reduced Fat Peanut Butter. To replace the fat it skimmed out, Smucker’s added a fast-digesting carbohydrate called maltodextrin. That’s not going to help you lose weight. A 2008 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that over a 2-year span, people on low-carb diets lost 62 percent more body weight than those trying to cut fat. (Plus, the fat in peanut butter is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat—you’d be better off eating more of it, not less!)
#6: “Trans-fat free” foods are actually trans-fat free
The FDA’s guidelines allow companies to claim 0 grams of trans fat—even broadcast it on the front of their packages—as long as the food in question contains no more than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. But here’s the deal: Due to an inextricable link to heart disease, the World Health Organization advises people to keep trans fat intake as low as possible, maxing out at about 1 gram per 2,000 calories consumed. If your cupboard’s full of foods with almost half a gram per serving, you might be blowing past that number every single day. TheAmerican Journal of Health Promotion recently published an article urging the FDA to rethink its lax regulations, but until that happens, you should avoid all foods with “partially hydrogenated oil” (meaning, trans fats) on their ingredients statements.
#7: Foods labeled “natural” are healthier
The FDA makes no serious effort to control the use of the word “natural” on nutrition labels. Case in point: 7UP boasts that it’s made with “100% Natural Flavors” when, in fact, the soda is sweetened with a decidedly un-natural dose of high fructose corn syrup. “Corn” is natural, but “high fructose corn syrup” is produced using a centrifuge and a series of chemical reactions. Other “natural” abusers include Natural Cheetos, which are made with maltodextrin and disodium phosphate, and “natural advantage” Post Raisin Bran, which bathes its raisins in both sugar and corn syrup. The worst part is, you’re likely paying a premium price for common junk food.
#8: Egg yolks raise your cholesterol
Egg yolks contain dietary cholesterol; this much is true. But research has proven that dietary cholesterol has almost nothing to do with serum cholesterol, the stuff in your blood. Wake Forest University researchers reviewed more than 30 egg studies and found no link between egg consumption and heart disease, and a study in Saint Louis found that eating eggs for breakfast could decrease your calorie intake for the remainder of the day.
#9: Eating junk food helps battle stress
You’ve been there: Stressed out and sprawled across your sofa with one arm elbow deep in a bag of cheese puffs. In the moment, it can be comforting, but a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that people who consumed the most highly processed foods were 58 percent more likely to be depressed than those who ate the least. Your move: Find a healthy stress snack. Peanut butter and Triscuits do the trick, or check out the next myth …
#10: Chocolate is bad for you
Cocoa is a plant-based food replete with flavonoids that increase blood flow and release feel-good endorphins. Plus, it contains a healthy kind of saturated fat called stearic acid, which research has shown can increase your good HDL cholesterol. But here’s the rub: When most people think of chocolate, their minds jump immediately to milk chocolate, which contains far more sugar than actual cocoa. Instead, look for dark chocolate, specifically those versions that tell you exactly how much cocoa they contain. A bar with 60% cocoa is good, but the more cocoa it contains, the greater the health effects.
#11: Granola is good for you
Oats are good for you, and the same goes for oatmeal. But granola takes those good-for-you hunks of flattened oat, blankets them in sugar, and bakes them in oil to give them crunch. The amount of fat and sugar added to each oat is at the discretion of food processors, but you can bet your last cup of milk it’s going to far sweeter and more fatty than a bowl of regular cereal. Take this example: A single cup of Quaker Natural Granola, Nuts & Raisins has 420 calories, 30 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of fat. Switch to a humble cup of Kix and you drop down about 90 calories, 2.5 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of fat.
#12: Bananas are the best source of potassium
Your body uses potassium to keep your nerves and muscles firing efficiently, and an adequate intake can blunt sodium’s effect on blood pressure. One 2009 study found that a 2:1 ratio of potassium to sodium could halve your risk of heart disease, and since the average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day, your goal should be 6,800 milligrams of daily potassium. You’re extremely unlikely to ever reach that mark—and never with bananas alone. One medium banana has 422 milligrams and 105 calories. Here are the sources that earn you roughly the same amount of potassium in fewer calories:
- Potato, half a medium spud, 80 calories
- Apricots, 5 whole fruit, 80 calories
- Cantaloupe, 1 cup cubes, 55 calories
- Broccoli, 1 full stalk, 50 calories
- Sun-dried tomatoes, a quarter cup, 35 calories
#13: Oranges are the best source of vitamin C Far more than a simple immune booster, vitamin C is an antioxidant that plays a host of important roles in your body. It strengthens skin by helping to build collagen, improves mood by increasing the flow of norepinephrine, and bolsters metabolic efficiency by helping transport fat cells into the body’s energy-burning mitochondria. But since your body can neither store nor create the wonder vitamin, you need to provide a constant supply. An orange is the most famous vitamin-C food, and although it’s a good source, it’s by no means the best. For 70 calories, one orange gives you about 70 micrograms of vitamin C. Here are five sources with just as much vitamin C and even fewer calories:
#13: Oranges are the best source of vitamin C
Far more than a simple immune booster, vitamin C is an antioxidant that plays a host of important roles in your body. It strengthens skin by helping to build collagen, improves mood by increasing the flow of norepinephrine, and bolsters metabolic efficiency by helping transport fat cells into the body’s energy-burning mitochondria. But since your body can neither store nor create the wonder vitamin, you need to provide a constant supply. An orange is the most famous vitamin-C food, and although it’s a good source, it’s by no means the best. For 70 calories, one orange gives you about 70 micrograms of vitamin C. Here are five sources with just as much vitamin C and even fewer calories:
#14: Organic is always better
Often, but not in every case. Organic produce is almost nutritionally identical to its conventional counterpart. The issue is pesticide exposure—pesticides have been linked to an increased risk of obesity in some studies. But many conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are very low in pesticides. Take, for example, the conventional onion: It’s got the lowest pesticide load of 45 fruits and vegetables tested by the Environmental Working Group. Also in the safe-to-eat-conventional group are avocados, sweet corn, and pineapple. In general, fruits and vegetables with impermeable skins are safe to buy conventional, while produce like celery, peaches, apples, and blueberries are better purchased organic.
#15: Meat is bad for you
Pork, beef, and lamb are among the world’s best sources of complete protein, and a Danish study found that dieting with 25 percent of calories from protein can help you lose twice as much weight as dieting with 12 percent protein. Then there’s vitamin B12, which is prevalent only in animal-based foods. B12 is essential to your body’s ability to decode DNA and build red blood cells, and British researchers found that adequate intakes protect against age-related brain shrinkage. Now, if you’re worried that meat will increase your risk for heart disease, don’t be. A Harvard review last year looked at 20 studies and found that meat’s link to heart disease exists only with processed meats like bacon, sausage, and deli cuts. Unprocessed meats, those that hadn’t been smoked, cured, or chemically preserved, presented absolutely zero risk.
Get Rid of Lower Belly Fat
Alter your diet to include more vegetables and lean proteins and less fat and sugar. Lean proteins will help you build muscles and burn fat in your lower belly. Even if you simply cut your fat and sugar intake in half, it will make a big difference in your fight against lower belly fat.
Do at least a half hour of cardio three times a week. Walking, jogging, biking and dancing are great options. Doing cardio will help you lose that extra layer of fat that keeps your abdominal muscles hidden.
Work your lower ab muscles to strengthen the muscle wall and burn belly fat. Do a few reps of scissors after your cardio exercise. Lie on your back with your hands underneath your buttocks. Lift your legs about a foot off the ground. Contract your lower ab muscles, and move your legs in a crisscross motion: move your right leg over the left, then open your legs apart and move your left leg over the right. Be careful not to bend your knees. Do about 10 to 15 reps.
Do a few reps of double leg reverse crunches. Lie on your back with your hands behind your buttocks as in Step 3. Raise your legs off the ground and bend your knees. With your knees bent, slowly lower your feet until they’re three inches off the ground, and hold this position for a few seconds then return to starting position. Do about 10 to 15 reps.
Complete your lower belly workout with a set of the Pilates 100. Lie on your back with your arms at your sides. Lift your legs straight at a 45-degree angle. Keeping your arms straight, lift them a few inches off the floor. Contract your abs and lift your shoulders a few inches off the ground. Maintain this position and start pumping your hands up and down as you count to 100.
8 Ultimate Flat-Belly Summer Foods
1. Spinach It may be green and leafy, but spinach is no nutritional wallflower. This noted muscle-builder is a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Bonus: Folate also increases blood flow to the nether regions, helping to protect you against age-related sexual issues. Aim for 1 cup fresh spinach or a half cup cooked per day. SUBSTITUTES: Kale, bok choy, romaine lettuce FIT IT IN: Make your salads with baby spinach; add spinach to scrambled eggs; drape it over pizza; mix it with marinara sauce and then microwave for an instant dip. 2. Yogurt Various cultures claim yogurt as their own creation, but the 2,000-year-old food’s health benefits are not disputed: Fermentation spawns hundreds of millions of reinforcements for the battalions of beneficial bacteria in your body. That helps boost your immune system, provides protection against cancer, and even does duty as a cavity-fighter. Not all yogurts are created equal, though, so make sure the label says “live and active cultures.” And watch out for high-fructose corn syrup; stealth sugars are worth avoiding in yogurt and everywhere else. SUBSTITUTES: Kefir, cottage cheese FIT IT IN: Yogurt topped with blueberries, walnuts, flaxseed, and honey is the ultimate breakfast — or dessert. Plain low-fat yogurt is also a perfect base for creamy salad dressings and dips. 3. Tomatoes There are two things you need to know about tomatoes: Red are the best, because they’re packed with more of the antioxidant lycopene, and processed tomatoes are just as potent as fresh ones, because it’s easier for the body to absorb the lycopene. Studies show that a diet rich in lycopene can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, breast, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Aim for 22 mg of lycopene a day, which is about eight red cherry tomatoes or a glass of tomato juice. Plant some now for a health harvest in July and August. This Men’s Health video will show you how. SUBSTITUTES: Red watermelon, pink grapefruit, Japanese persimmon, papaya, guava FIT IT IN: Dress sliced heirloom tomatoes with torn basil and olive oil; guzzle low-sodium V8 and gazpacho; roast cherry tomatoes and serve over grilled fish or chicken.
It may be green and leafy, but spinach is no nutritional wallflower. This noted muscle-builder is a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Bonus: Folate also increases blood flow to the nether regions, helping to protect you against age-related sexual issues. Aim for 1 cup fresh spinach or a half cup cooked per day.
SUBSTITUTES: Kale, bok choy, romaine lettuce
FIT IT IN: Make your salads with baby spinach; add spinach to scrambled eggs; drape it over pizza; mix it with marinara sauce and then microwave for an instant dip.
Various cultures claim yogurt as their own creation, but the 2,000-year-old food’s health benefits are not disputed: Fermentation spawns hundreds of millions of reinforcements for the battalions of beneficial bacteria in your body. That helps boost your immune system, provides protection against cancer, and even does duty as a cavity-fighter. Not all yogurts are created equal, though, so make sure the label says “live and active cultures.” And watch out for high-fructose corn syrup; stealth sugars are worth avoiding in yogurt and everywhere else.
SUBSTITUTES: Kefir, cottage cheese
FIT IT IN: Yogurt topped with blueberries, walnuts, flaxseed, and honey is the ultimate breakfast — or dessert. Plain low-fat yogurt is also a perfect base for creamy salad dressings and dips.
There are two things you need to know about tomatoes: Red are the best, because they’re packed with more of the antioxidant lycopene, and processed tomatoes are just as potent as fresh ones, because it’s easier for the body to absorb the lycopene. Studies show that a diet rich in lycopene can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, breast, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Aim for 22 mg of lycopene a day, which is about eight red cherry tomatoes or a glass of tomato juice. Plant some now for a health harvest in July and August. This Men’s Health video will show you how.
SUBSTITUTES: Red watermelon, pink grapefruit, Japanese persimmon, papaya, guava
FIT IT IN: Dress sliced heirloom tomatoes with torn basil and olive oil; guzzle low-sodium V8 and gazpacho; roast cherry tomatoes and serve over grilled fish or chicken.4. Carrots
Most red, yellow, or orange vegetables and fruits are spiked with carotenoids — fat-soluble compounds that are associated with a reduction in a wide range of cancers, as well as a reduced risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis — but none of them is as easy to prepare, or have as low a caloric density, as carrots do. Aim for a half cup a day.
SUBSTITUTES: Sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, yellow bell pepper, mango
FIT IT IN: Snack on baby carrots; grate raw carrots into salad; toss a carrot into a breakfast smoothie with frozen mango and OJ; roast carrot chunks with olive oil, salt and cumin. 5. Blueberries Host to more antioxidants than any other North American fruit, blueberries help prevent cancer, diabetes, and age-related memory changes (hence the nickname “brain berry”). Studies show that blueberries, which are rich in fiber and vitamins A and C, also boost cardiovascular health. Aim for 1 cup fresh blueberries a day, or a half cup frozen or dried. SUBSTITUTE: Açai, an Amazonian berry, has even more antioxidants than the blueberry. Mix 2 Tbsp. of açai powder into OJ or add 2 Tbsp of açai pulp to cereal, yogurt, or a smoothie. FIT IT IN: Mix fresh blueberries into plain yogurt; blend with ice, yogurt, banana, and OJ for a 60-second smoothie; toss with baby spinach, red onions, goat cheese, and raspberry vinaigrette for a summer salad. 6. Black Beans All beans are good for your heart, but none can boost your brain power like black beans. That’s because they’re full of anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that have been shown to improve brain function. A daily half-cup serving provides 8 grams of protein and 7.5 grams of fiber, and is low in calories and free of saturated fat. SUBSTITUTES: Peas, lentils, and pinto, kidney, fava, and lima beans FIT IT IN: Wrap black beans in a breakfast burrito; use both black beans and kidney beans in your chili; puree 1 cup black beans with 2 Tbsp olive oil and roasted garlic for a healthy dip; add favas, limas, or peas to pasta dishes.
FIT IT IN: Snack on baby carrots; grate raw carrots into salad; toss a carrot into a breakfast smoothie with frozen mango and OJ; roast carrot chunks with olive oil, salt and cumin.
Host to more antioxidants than any other North American fruit, blueberries help prevent cancer, diabetes, and age-related memory changes (hence the nickname “brain berry”). Studies show that blueberries, which are rich in fiber and vitamins A and C, also boost cardiovascular health. Aim for 1 cup fresh blueberries a day, or a half cup frozen or dried.
SUBSTITUTE: Açai, an Amazonian berry, has even more antioxidants than the blueberry. Mix 2 Tbsp. of açai powder into OJ or add 2 Tbsp of açai pulp to cereal, yogurt, or a smoothie.
FIT IT IN: Mix fresh blueberries into plain yogurt; blend with ice, yogurt, banana, and OJ for a 60-second smoothie; toss with baby spinach, red onions, goat cheese, and raspberry vinaigrette for a summer salad.
6. Black Beans
All beans are good for your heart, but none can boost your brain power like black beans. That’s because they’re full of anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that have been shown to improve brain function. A daily half-cup serving provides 8 grams of protein and 7.5 grams of fiber, and is low in calories and free of saturated fat.
SUBSTITUTES: Peas, lentils, and pinto, kidney, fava, and lima beans
FIT IT IN: Wrap black beans in a breakfast burrito; use both black beans and kidney beans in your chili; puree 1 cup black beans with 2 Tbsp olive oil and roasted garlic for a healthy dip; add favas, limas, or peas to pasta dishes.7. Walnuts
Richer in heart-healthy omega-3s than salmon, loaded with more anti-inflammatory polyphenols than red wine, and packing half as much muscle-building protein as chicken, the walnut just needs a cape and we could call it a superhero. Other nuts combine only one or two of these features, not all three. A serving of walnuts — about 1 ounce, or seven nuts — is good anytime, but especially as a postworkout recovery snack. Keep a can of Planters Nutrition Heart Healthy Mix in your desk drawer or glove compartment, and use them to lead you away from temptation.
SUBSTITUTES: Almonds, peanuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts
FIT IT IN: Sprinkle on top of salads; chop and add to pancake batter; mix 1 cup walnuts with a half cup dried blueberries and a quarter cup of dark chocolate chunks.
The original wunderkind of health food, oats garnered the FDA’s first seal of approval. They are packed with soluble fiber, which lowers the risk of heart disease. Yes, oats are loaded with carbs, but the release of those sugars is slowed by the fiber, and because oats also have 10 grams of protein per half-cup serving, they deliver steady muscle-friendly energy.SUBSTITUTES: Quinoa, flaxseed, amaranth, pearly barley
FIT IT IN: Eat granolas and cereals that have a fiber content of at least 5 grams per serving; sprinkle 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed on cereals, salads, and yogurt; sub quinoa in for brown rice.
11 Foods to Avoid for a Flat Stomach
If you want to make sure you are burning stomach fat — make sure you are staying away from these 11 foods. Instead of making your waist smaller — these foods will only expand your waistline even further.
For most of us this one can be hard to avoid — but snacking on candy won’t help you get a flat stomach. They taste delicious and can give you a quick pick me up — but you will just as quickly crash and burn while you add more inches to your waist.
White flour is highly processed — which means lacking in nutritional value. This type of flour – also known as enriched wheat flour – has lost any nutritional value during processing and can actually cause more health problems if too readily consumed.
Yes soda is tasty and it quenches your thirst — however its full of sugar and dies that aren’t any good for you. Cutting out soda from your daily liquid intake can save you TONS of calories, making a flat stomach even MORE possible.
Oh who doesn’t love chips!? But the only reason chips are tasty is because they are covered in unhealthy oils and fats — not to mention WAY too much sugar than any one person needs to eat.
Adding cheese to a sandwich or a salad can make it taste THAT much better. However, adding that flavor to your meal is also adding fat to your diet. Cheese is full of fat that will help you gain weight instead of gain a flat stomach.
This one might be a no brainer — but it might not be — there are cookies out there that say they have low calories — however these cookies are still filled with lots of sugar (to make them taste good).
When trying to lose weight quickly its important to stay away from cuts of meat that are high in saturated fats. Avoid various cuts of meat such as beef, bologna, and pork that are high in fat and calories.
Drinking milk high in fat when trying to lose weight won’t help you lose any weight as it adds more fat to your diet as you are trying to lose fat.
Alcohol is full of empty calories. A 12 oz beer has 150 calories — calories that do nothing for you except send you to treadmill for a longer workout.
Yes, some forms of dark chocolate are good for your health (in moderation of course) however, if you are trying to lose stomach fat quickly chocolate should not be a part of your diet. Eating chocolate only adds additional calories and sugar that your body will turn into fat – requiring you to spend more time in the gym to burn it off.
When trying to lose weight its important to stay away from fried foods. Fried foods are full of saturated fats — some are made up of more than 50% fat! Avoiding fried foods – no matter how convenient they may be will help you reach your weight loss goals faster.
(Source: , via th3skinny)
High in fiber and complex carbohydrates, oats have also been shown to lower cholesterol. And they sure are cheap—a dollar will buy you more than a week’s worth of hearty breakfasts.
Serving suggestions: Sprinkle with nuts and fruit in the morning, make oatmeal cookies for dessert.
You can get about a half dozen of eggs for a dollar, making them one of the cheapest and most versatile sources of protein. They are also a good source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which may ward off age-related eye problems.
Serving suggestions: Huevos rancheros for breakfast, egg salad sandwiches for lunch, and frittatas for dinner.
This dark, leafy green is loaded with vitamin C, carotenoids, and calcium. Like most greens, it is usually a dollar a bunch.
Because we often see potatoes at their unhealthiest—as fries or chips—we don’t think of them as nutritious, but they definitely are. Eaten with the skin on, potatoes contain almost half a day’s worth of Vitamin C, and are a good source of potassium. If you opt for sweet potatoes or yams, you’ll also get a good wallop of beta carotene. Plus, they’re dirt cheap and have almost endless culinary possibilities.
Serving suggestions: In the a.m., try Easy Breakfast Potatoes; for lunch, make potato salad; for dinner, have them with sour cream and chives.
I’m fond of apples because they’re inexpensive, easy to find, come in portion-controlled packaging, and taste good. They are a good source of pectin—a fiber that may help reduce cholesterol—and they have the antioxidant Vitamin C, which keeps your blood vessels healthy.
Serving suggestions: Plain; as applesauce; or in baked goods like Pumpkin-Apple Breakfast Bread.
Though nuts have a high fat content, they’re packed with the good-for-you fats—unsaturated and monounsaturated. They’re also good sources of essential fatty acids, Vitamin E, and protein. And because they’re so nutrient-dense, you only need to eat a little to get the nutritional benefits. Although some nuts, like pecans and macadamias, can be costly, peanuts, walnuts, and almonds, especially when bought in the shell, are low in cost.
Serving suggestions: Raw; roasted and salted; sprinkled in salads.
At a local Trader Joe’s, I found bananas for about 19¢ apiece; a dollar gets you a banana a day for the workweek. High in potassium and fiber (9 grams for one), bananas are a no-brainer when it comes to eating your five a day quotient of fruits and veggies.
Serving suggestions: In smoothies, by themselves, in cereal and yogurt.
8. Garbanzo Beans
With beans, you’re getting your money’s worth and then some. Not only are they a great source of protein and fiber, but ’bonzos are also high in fiber, iron, folate, and manganese, and may help reduce cholesterol levels. And if you don’t like one type, try another—black, lima, lentils … the varieties are endless. Though they require soaking and cooking, the most inexpensive way to purchase these beans is in dried form; a precooked can will still only run you around a buck.
Serving suggestions: In salads, curries, and Orange Hummus.
Broccoli contains tons of nice nutrients—calcium, vitamins A and C, potassium, folate, and fiber. As if that isn’t enough, broccoli is also packed with phytonutrients, compounds that may help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Plus, it’s low in calories and cost.
Serving suggestions: Throw it in salads, stir fries, or served as an accompaniment to meat in this Steamed Ginger Chicken with Asian Greens recipe.
Though you may not be able to buy an entire watermelon for a dollar, your per serving cost isn’t more than a few dimes. This summertime fruit is over 90 percent water, making it an easy way to hydrate, and gives a healthy does of Vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene, an antioxidant that may ward off cancer.
Serving suggestions: Freeze chunks for popsicles; eat straight from the rind; squeeze to make watermelon margaritas (may negate the hydrating effect!).
11. Wild Rice
It won’t cost you much more than white rice, but wild rice is much better for you. Low in fat and high in protein and fiber, this gluten-free rice is a great source of complex carbohydrates. It packs a powerful potassium punch and is loaded with B vitamins. Plus, it has a nutty, robust flavor.
Serving suggestions: Mix with nuts and veggies for a cold rice salad; blend with brown rice for a side dish.
Beets are my kind of vegetable—their natural sugars make them sweet to the palate while their rich flavor and color make them nutritious for the body. They’re powerhouses of folate, iron, and antioxidants.
Serving suggestions: Shred into salads, slice with goat cheese. If you buy your beets with the greens on, you can braise them in olive oil like you would other greens.
13. Butternut Squash
This beautiful gourd swings both ways: sometimes savory, sometimes sweet. However you prepare the butternut, it will not only add color and texture, but also five grams of fiber per half cup and chunks and chunks of Vitamin A and C. When in season, butternut squash and related gourds are usually less than a dollar a pound.
Serving suggestions: Try Pear and Squash Bruschetta; cook and dot with butter and salt.
14. Whole Grain Pasta
In the days of Atkins, pasta was wrongly convicted, for there is nothing harmful about a complex carbohydrate source that is high in protein and B vitamins. Plus, it’s one of the cheapest staples you can buy.
Serving suggestions: Mix clams and white wine with linguine; top orzo with tomatoes and garlic; eat cold Farfalle Salad on a picnic.
As a kid, I used to hate it when my dad would order sardines on our communal pizzas, but since then I’ve acquired a taste for them. Because not everyone has, you can still get a can of sardines for relatively cheap. And the little fish come with big benefits: calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins. And, because they’re low on the food chain, they don’t accumulate mercury.
Serving suggestions: Mash them with parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil for a spread; eat them plain on crackers; enjoy as a pizza topping (adults only).
Spinach is perhaps one of the best green leafies out there—it has lots of Vitamin C, iron, and trace minerals. Plus, you can usually find it year round for less than a dollar.
Serving suggestions: Sautéed with eggs, as a salad, or a Spinach Frittata.
Not just for vegetarians anymore, tofu is an inexpensive protein source that can be used in both savory and sweet recipes. It’s high in B vitamins and iron, but low in fat and sodium, making it a healthful addition to many dishes.
Serving suggestions: Use silken varieties in Tofu Cheesecake; add to smoothies for a protein boost; cube and marinate for barbecue kebobs.
18. Lowfat Milk
Yes, the price of a gallon of milk is rising, but per serving, it’s still under a dollar; single serving milk products, like yogurt, are usually less than a dollar, too. Plus, you’ll get a lot of benefit for a small investment. Milk is rich in protein, vitamins A and D, potassium, and niacin, and is one of the easiest ways to get bone-strengthening calcium.
Serving suggestions: In smoothies, hot chocolate, or coffee; milk products like low fat cottage cheese and yogurt.
19. Pumpkin Seeds
When it’s time to carve your pumpkin this October, don’t shovel those seeds into the trash—they’re a goldmine of magnesium, protein, and trace minerals. Plus, they come free with the purchase of a pumpkin.
Serving suggestions: Salt, roast, and eat plain; toss in salads.
The old cup-o-joe has been thrown on the stands for many a corporeal crime—heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis—but exonerated on all counts. In fact, coffee, which is derived from a bean, contains beneficial antioxidants that protect against free radicals and may actually help thwart heart disease and cancer. While it’s not going to fill you up like the other items on this list, it might make you a lot perkier. When made at home, coffee runs less than 50¢ cents a cup.
Serving suggestions: Just drink it.
Although that bag of 99¢ Cheetos may look like a bargain, knowing that you’re not getting much in the way of nutrition or sustenance makes it seem less like a deal and more like a dupe. Choosing one of these twenty items, or the countless number of similarly nutritious ones, might just stretch that dollar from a snack into a meal.
Both glasses are 16 oz (2 cup) glasses. The glass on the right is 100 calories of regular Coca-Cola, and the glass on the right is the sugar that the 100 calories of soda contains.
This is terrifying.