Super Healthy Foods Part 2
Article by Kate Waters
The more variety in your healthy diet the more likely you are to maintain it, so here we will look at some more ‘Super Foods’ which when added to our ‘Fat Burning List’ and ‘Super Foods Part 1′ will really give your diet a rocket fuelled health kick.
They will lend different tastes and textures to every meal and provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, proteins and other vital nutrients. Naturally, each one is high in fibre, low in fat and safe when it comes to sodium content.
Many have crunchiness and flavour that we have come to enjoy in snacks and nibbling foods. If you are like most of us, you may have a real junk food snacking habit, a habit you’re going to have to change in order to slim down. Hopefully you will find many of the foods in this section to be worthy substitutes.
As long as we’re talking about losing weight and fat-fighting foods, we had to mention cottage cheese.
Low-fat (2%) cottage cheese has 205 calories per cup and is admirably low in fat, while providing respectable amounts of calcium and the B vitamin riboflavin. Season with spices such a dill, or garden fresh vegetable such a scallions and chives for extra zip. To make it sweeter, add raisins or one of the fruit spreads with no sugar added. You can also use cottage cheese in cooking, baking, fillings and dips where you would otherwise use sour cream or cream cheese.
Fiber-rich figs are low in calories at 37 per medium (2.25″ diameter) raw fig and 48 per dried fig. A recent study by the USDA demonstrated that they contribute to a feeling of fullness and prevent overeating. Subjects actually complained of being asked to eat too much food when fed a diet containing more figs than a similar diet with an identical number of calories.
Serve them with other fruits and cheeses. Or poach them in fruit juice and serve them warm or cold. You can stuff them with mild white cheese or puree them to use as a filling for cookies and low-calorie pastries.
The health benefits of fish are greater than experts imagined – and they’ve always considered it a health food.
The calorie count in the average four-ounce serving of a deep-sea fish runs from a low of 90 calories in abalone to a high of 236 in herring. Water-packed tuna, for example, has 154 calories. It’s hard to gain weight eating seafood.
As far back as 1985, articles in the New England Journal of Medicine showed a clear link between eating fish regularly and lower rates of heart disease. The reason is that oils in fish thin the blood, reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol.
A daily supplements of fish oil brought dramatic relief to the inflammation and stiff joints of rheumatoid arthritis.
We’re talking collard, chicory, beet, kale, mustard, Swiss chard and turnip greens. They all belong to the same family as spinach, and that’s one of the super-stars. No matter how hard you try, you can’t load a cup of plain cooked greens with any more than 50 calories.
They’re full of fibre, loaded with vitamins A and C and free of fat. You can use them in salads, soups, casseroles or any dish where you would normally use spinach.
This New Zealand native is a sweet treat at only 46 calories per fruit. Chinese public health officials praise the tasty fruit for its high vitamin C content and potassium. It stores easily in the refrigerator for up to a month. Most people like it peeled, but the fuzzy skin is also edible.
These members of the onion family look like giant scallions, and are every bit as healthful and flavourful as their better-known cousins. They come as close to calorie-free as it gets at a mere 32 calories per cooked cup.
You can poach or boil halved leeks and then marinate them in a vinaigrette or season with Romano cheese, fine mustard or herbs. They also make a good soup.
People think lettuce is nutritionally worthless, but nothing could be farther from the truth. You can’t leave it out of your weight-loss plans, not at 10 calories per cup of raw romaine. It provides a lot of filling bulk for so few calories. And it’s full of vitamin C, too. Go beyond iceberg lettuce with Boston, bibb and cos varieties or try watercress, arugula, radicchio, dandelion greens, purslane and even parsley to liven up your salads.
Now, here’s great taste and great nutrition in a low-calorie package! One cup of cantaloupe balls has 62 calories, on cup of casaba balls has 44 calories, one cup of honeydew balls has 62 calories and one cup of watermelon balls has 49 calories. They have some of the highest fibre content of any food and are delicious. Throw in handsome quantities of vitamins A and C plus a whopping 547 mgs of potassium in that cup of cantaloupe, and you have a fat-burning health food beyond compare.
Flavourful, aromatic, inexpensive and low in calories, onions deserve a regular place in your diet. One cup of chopped raw onions has only 60 calories, and one raw medium onion (2.15″ diameter) has just 42.
They control cholesterol, thin the blood, protect against cholesterol and may have some value in counteracting allergic reactions. Most of all, onions taste good and they’re good for you.
Partially boil, peel and bake, basting with olive oil and lemon juice, or sauté them in white wine and basil, then spread over pizza. You could also try roasting them in sherry and serve over pasta.
The Italians had it right all along. A cup of cooked pasta (without a heavy sauce) has only 155 calories and fits the description of a perfect starch-centered staple. Pasta is rich in six minerals, including manganese, iron, phosphorus, copper, magnesium and zinc. Also be sure to consider whole-wheat pastas, which are even healthier.
You can make a meal out of them and not worry about gaining a pound and you won’t walk away from the table feeling hungry. Each sweet potato has about 103 calories and their creamy orange flesh is one of the best sources of vitamin A you can consume.
You can bake, steam or microwave them, or add them to casseroles, soups and many other dishes. Flavour with lemon juice or vegetable broth instead of butter.
A medium tomato (2.5″ diameter) has only about 25 calories. These garden delights are low in fat and sodium, high in potassium and rich in fibre. The anti- oxidants in them are known to have anti-cancer benefits.
And don’t overlook canned crushed, peeled, whole or stewed tomatoes. They make sauces, casseroles and soups taste great while retaining their nutritional goodness and low-calorie status. Even plain old spaghetti sauce is a fat-burning bargain when served over pasta, so think about introducing tomatoes into your diet
Give thanks to those pilgrims for starting the wonderful tradition of Thanksgiving turkey. It just so happens that this health food disguised as meat is good year-round for weight control. A four-ounce serving of roasted white meat turkey has 177 calories and dark meat has 211.
Sadly, many folks are still unaware of the versatility and flavour of ground turkey. Anything hamburger can do, ground turkey can do at least as well, from conventional burgers to spaghetti sauce to meat loaf.
Some ground turkey contains skin which slightly increases the fat content. If you want to keep it really lean, opt for ground breast meat. But since this has no added fat, you’ll need to add filler to make burgers or meat loaf hold together.
Four ounces of ground turkey has approximately 170 calories and nine grams of fat – about what you’d find in 2.5 teaspoons of butter or margarine. Incredibly, the same amount of regular ground beef (21% fat) has 298 calories and 23 grams of fat.
Buying turkey has become easy. It’s no longer necessary to buy a whole bird unless you want to. Ground turkey is available fresh or frozen, as are individual parts of the bird, including drumsticks, thighs, breasts and cutlets.
The non-fat variety of plain yogurt has 120 calories per cup and low-fat, 144. It delivers a lot of protein and , like any dairy food, is rich in calcium and contains zinc and riboflavin.
Yogurt is handy as a breakfast food ,cut a banana into it and add the cereal of your choice. You can find ways to use it in other types of cooking, to – sauces, soups, dips, toppings, stuffings and spreads. Many kitchen gadget departments even sell a simple funnel for making yogurt cheese.
Yogurt can replace heavy creams and whole milk in a wide range of dishes, saving loads of fat and calories. You can substitute half or all of the higher fat ingredients. Be creative, for example, combine yogurt, garlic powder, lemon juice, a dash of pepper and Worcestershire sauce and use it to top a baked potato instead of piling on fat-laden sour cream.
Supermarkets and health food stores sell a variety of yogurts, many with added fruit and sugar. To control calories and fat content, buy plain non-fat yogurt and add fruit yourself. Apple butter or fruit spreads with little or no added sugar are an excellent way to turn plain yogurt into a delectable sweet treat.
About the Author
Kate Waters is a fitness and nutrition expert and writer. For more information and resources see http://health-and-fitness-it-is.com