Whether you’re getting ready to begin USANA’s RESET™ weight-management program or you’re just making small changes to create a healthier lifestyle, appetite control is key. There is an obesity epidemic, and a large part of the problem is excessive snacking on unhealthy food in between meals, creating almost instant cravings for more unhealthy food.
So how do you control your hunger and manage your body weight without eating more? Check out these 10 powerhouse foods that will not only help you control your hunger, but offer some amazing health benefits as well:
1. Oatmeal: Oats are a good source of many nutrients, including vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese, and magnesium. They are also a good source of protein. Full of soluble and insoluble fiber, aiding in digestive health, cholesterol maintenance and heart health. Best of all, oatmeal has one of the highest satiety rankings of any food, leaving you full for longer. (Tip: Recommended during RESET Maintain phase. Not optimal for the RESET 5-day JumpStart or Transform phases.)
2. Beans (including small red, kidney, pinto, and navy): Not only are beans known for being an excellent source of protein and antioxidant content, but they are also known for their high fiber content, which controls hunger and keeps you feeling satisfied longer. Adding beans to your diet helps you cut calories without feeling deprived. The USDA recently released their latest guidelines, revealing that Americans aren’t coming close to consuming the daily recommended minimum of dietary fiber, which is only 15g per day.
The Adequate Intake (AI) set by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine for total fiber is as follows:
- Adults ages 50 and younger: 38 g/day for men, 25 g/day for women
- Adults 50 and older: 30 g/day for men, 21 g/day for women
3. Red Grapes: This super food contains phyto-nutrients offering broad antioxidant protection and a variety of antioxidants, including anti-inflammatory benefits as well as resveratrol, which is linked to many heart health benefits. Red grapes also contain many vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, A, K, carotenes, and B-complex vitamins. Not only is this powerhouse super food packed with nutrition, but grapes also taste great, are low in calories, and tout a very low-glycemic rating, which helps control hunger. Best of all, they’re available year-round!
4. Fish: Fish is full of protein and low in saturated fat. But one of the biggest health benefits is its omega-3 fatty acids, which supports cardiovascular, cognitive, and vision-health. Fish also improves insulin sensitivity, helping build muscle and decrease belly fat. The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish (particularly fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna) each week.
5. Apples: Did you know China produces more apples than any other country? Maybe they’re on to something. This low-glycemic super food is full of antioxidants and antioxidant compounds such as flavonoids. Apples help with digestion and have also been connected to neurological health. They’re also low-glycemic, helping you control your hunger. However, when eating that crisp sweet fruit, be sure to leave the skin on. The skin contains more fiber, quercetin and antioxidants, than the rest of the apple. So the next time you reach for an “Apple a Day,” you can feel good about it!
6. Eggs: The benefits are big with eggs. They are great for many things, including eye health due to the carotenoid content (specifically lutein and zeaxanthin). They are a good source of protein and all nine essential amino acids. They contain choline, a nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous, and cardiovascular systems. Eggs are one of the only foods that naturally contain vitamin D. They promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. They contain iron, B vitamins, and minerals like folate, which is recommended for pregnant women. A study reported in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that eggs tended to satisfy obese and overweight subjects more than a bagel breakfast with an equal calorie count. This super food is not only low-glycemic, but is an egg-cellent way to control your hunger.
7. Nuts: Go nuts! These great snacks contain plenty of protein, fiber, and healthy monounsaturated fats, which are needed for heart health. Nuts also contain an array of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. Walnuts contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, and almonds are a good source of protein, antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamin E. Also, Brazilian nuts are known to contain the powerful antioxidant selenium, which helps neutralize free radicals that attack healthy cells. Although these great snacks are highly nutritious, be sure to keep your servings to only 1 or 2 ounces, because they typically contain higher concentrations of healthy fat that could impede progress with weight loss if not eaten in moderation. Not only do these great-tasting snacks control hunger, but the health benefits of each individual nut is endless. So go nuts with this smart snack!
8. Yogurt: This digestive-friendly food is a great way to incorporate probiotics, or “healthy bacteria,” into your diet to fight off bad bacteria in your digestive track. It’s also a good source of protein and an array of other nutrients, including calcium and vitamins B-2, B-12, potassium, and magnesium. There are a lot of different varieties and brands of yogurt to choose from. Be sure to find healthy, protein-rich, low-sugar yogurts enriched with vitamin D for the healthy bone benefits. Also, be sure the label says “live and active cultures.”
9. Avocado: Avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit. They are also beneficial for eye health, and are considered the best source of vitamin E. In addition, avocados are high in beta-sitosterol — a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. This satisfying fruit also contains the heart-healthy B vitamin, folate. Last but not least, avocados contain monosaturated fats, which also help in controlling hunger.
10. Kale: This powerful food has over 45 different flavonoids, including kaempferol and quercetin, which offer potential beneficial effects including antiviral, anti-allergic, and anti-inflammatory. It’s great for avoidance of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. It also sports an excellent satiety rating, which means you can enjoy the diverse array of flavonoid benefits while controlling your hunger. If you’re not familiar with kale, then it’s high time you both met.
Photo credit (Apple): orangeacid