Here is the top 15 healthy food list you don’t want to miss. Weather you’re trying to lose weight, have a healthy heart or just improve your overall health and fitness, the fact is that what you eat plays a major role. If you’re doing your best Morgan Spurlock impression, there’s no way that you’ll end up with the body you want and more than likely you’ll be headed for an early grave. Here is a list of healthy foods that will help you on your quest to lose fat, build muscle and get in a position to enjoy life better.
Healthy Food 1 – Brocolli – glycemic index 10 – Brocolli is one healthy food! It is very high in protein, containing 33% protein by calorie content. It has a balanced amino acid profile, meaning it is a high quality protein source, although it contains relatively low amounts of protein overall (carbohydrates too, for that matter). Brocolli is a good source of quite a few vitamins and minerals, including Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C (per standard serving broccoli has about the same Vitamin C content as oranges), Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese. It is also very high in dietary fiber.
Healthy Food 2 – Oatmeal (whole oats, 5 minute, [not the flavored, sweetened stuff]) – glycemic index 45 – Oatmeal is one of my favorite healthy foods. It has been shown in scientific studies (one of the latest was published in 2008 by Dr. James W. Anderson, professor of medicine and clinical nutrition at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine) to help reduce cholesterol in the blood. It is very high in dietary fiber.
I personally incorporated oatmeal in the diet I used to help lower my cholesterol from 220 to 165 in one year without taking any drugs, so I’m pretty positive about the stuff. Be advised my experience is strictly anecdotal evidence, not scientific study. Oatmeal is high in minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and iron. It has a very well balanced amino acid profile (AA score = 83) and has about 15% protein by calorie content.
Healthy Food 3 – Skim milk – glycemic index 32 – Skim milk is a wonder food. Some people are sensitive to dairy products or are lactose intolerant and they should drink it sparingly, if at all. For everyone else it can work wonders. I posted about the study results a few weeks ago, but they bear repeating. In studies, those subjects taking skim milk (vs. the equivalent amount of protein and carbs in a soy protein drink, or a plain carbohydrate sports drink) completely outperformed the other groups in terms of muscle growth and fat loss. They lost an amazing double the amount of fat and gained 40% more muscle than the next best group.
Healthy Food 4 – Flax seed meal – Flax seed meal is loaded with nutrients, including minerals, Omega3 fatty acids, and protein. Flax seed meal is extremely high in fiber and contains strong antioxidants. If you’re taking more than 3 tablespoons cooking is a good idea to break down trace cyanide compounds.
Healthy Food 5 – Black beans – glycemic index 30 – Black beans are a great food for your overall health. Packed with high quality protein (amino acid score = 103), and very low in saturated fat, they also contain substantial soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Black beans are also very high in anti-oxidants, packing as much anti-oxidant punch as grapes, apples and cranberries. A 2003 USDA study found that the darker the bean, the higher its anti-oxidant content. Black beans contain high levels of folate, a lack of which has been linked to declining memory function. Black beans also deliver large amounts of Thiamin, magnesium, manganese, iron, and are virtually sodium free (until you pile on the salt). An additional benefit is that black beans, like most other beans, are really inexpensive.
Healthy Food 6 – Alaskan Wild Salmon – no carbohydrates – Lately salmon has become popular due to its extremely high Omega-3 fatty acid content. Salmon has an Omega3/Omega6 ratio of 11.7, which is nothing short of tremendous. It is loaded with protein and has no carbohydrates, so lo-carb dieters can wolf it down. Salmon is fairly high in fat, thus it packs some calories, but is so full of Omega-3s that eating it a few times a week is worth it. Besides, you need some fat in your diet. Don’t overdo it though, as salmon does have some saturated fat (about 4.5 grams per 6oz cooked portion). It has a stellar amino acid score of 148.
Healthy Food 7 – Goat meat (organic) – no carbohydrates – Most Americans aren’t aware of this, but goat meat is the most widely consumed meat in the world, and has been for hundreds of years. It is increasing in popularity in the U.S., and definitely deserves a place on the healthy foods list. For example, goat meat has ½ the fat of lean beef and 25% less fat than chicken. It is also lower in calories, with 3 ounces of goat meat having about 125 calories, compared to chicken’s 165, and beef’s 178. Check out some organically grown goat at your local international market.
Healthy Food 8 – Rainbow Trout (farm raised) – no carbohydrates – This delicious fish is not only great fun to catch, it’s even better to eat, not only for the taste, but for the protein and Omega-3s it gives you. Trout’s Omega3/Omega6 ratio is 6.1. Trout, like salmon has a fantastic amino acid score of 148, but unlike salmon it has very low amounts of saturated fats. Trout has less than 1 gram of saturated fat per 6oz serving. Trout is also much lower in overall fat than salmon. It is a fantastic source of vitamin B12, and also has Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus and Selenium.
Healthy Food 9 – Pomegranates – These fruits a are loaded with almost every type of anti-oxidant known to science. They are fantastic in that regard. Once caveat with regard to pomegranates is that they are also loaded with sugars, and the GI of pomegranate juice is 67, with the fruit a bit lower, so eat / drink them to get their anti-oxidant benefits. Don’t, however, swill down the juice like free beer from a frat house keg.
Healthy Food 10 – Blueberries – glycemic index 53 – Well, blue berries have virtually no protein, and what they do have is low quality. Everything else about Verucca Salt’s favorite fruit is all good, though. Blueberries are chock full of powerful anti-oxidants to help fight the free radicals that threaten to knock you dead at virtually any moment.
Blueberries also help your brain, as was demonstrated in a 2002 study where participants (all of them pilots) showed improved decision making prowess after consuming a cup of blueberries daily for 30 days. Jim Joseph, PhD, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported similar cognitive improvements in a symposium on healthy brains in 2001.
Healthy Food 11 – Apples (with skin)- glycemic index 38 – Somewhere in the dawn of American history, someone let loose with the zinger “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Now I don’t think the U.S. Apple Association was in existence yet, but they could scarcely have done better. That saying has its roots in scientific fact, though. The apple is one healthy fruit, although I’m writing this from Washington State, so one could assume I’m not entirely objective on the subject.
Apples are high in fiber, most notably the soluble variety, which is especially effective in helping to lower cholesterol. Here is another proponent of the medium sized, mostly spherical fruit, The Iowa Women’s Health Study. The study examined the health habits of 34,000 women. Their results pointed to apples as one of only 3 foods (the other 2 were red wine and pears) that decrease mortality risk from both cardiovascular and coronary heart disease.
Healthy Food 12 – Yogurt (fructose sweetened) – glycemic index19 – To put it bluntly, yogurt rocks! That’s right, yogurt deserves a place on any list of healthy foods, by virtue of its calcium and protein content. There’s also the matter of yogurt’s muscle building and fat fighting properties, which is why I named it to my list of the 3 fat fighting foods in a post a few weeks ago.
For both assisting muscle building and fat loss, the creamy, smooth cups of fun deserve nothing less than the title of “Wonder Food”. In a university study yogurt was found to substantially increase fat loss and muscle gain during a weight training program. See the fat loss foods post for more info. Yogurt can be moderately inflammatory, so don’t go overboard, but include them in your diet (unless you have sensitivities to dairy products).
Healthy Food 13 – Brown rice (steamed) – glycemic index 55 – I’m long on the record with my feelings that white rice doesn’t belong in a healthy diet in any but trace amounts, so what’s brown rice doing on the healthy food list? Simple, brown rice is the good cousin to the delinquent white variety. While white rice is akin to eating spoonfuls of table sugar, brown rice has a lower glycemic index, and contains a number of other highly beneficial nutrients and is high in fiber. Brown rice has oils that help fight cholesterol, too. Brown rice also has the advantage of being very affordable, especially when purchased in bulk.
The future of brown rice may be even brighter. A 2006 study by the Tohoku University and Japan’s National Research Institute of Brewing published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The results demonstrated that compounds found in the rice’s outer bran layer (the stuff they remove to make white rice) function similarly to ACE inhibitor drugs, without the drug’s side effects. The study showed potential benefits for preventing or improving heart and cardiovascular disease.
Healthy Food 14 – Almonds – no carbohydrates – These little nuggets of goodness are great, if you don’t touch the salted, seasoned varieties. Here is an example of the health power of the little nut. A British Journal of Nutrition published study found that almonds, when added to a diet of other healthy foods, significantly lowered the participant’s cholesterol in only 2 weeks. They are high in antioxidants and have a moderating effect on blood sugar. They actually lower the overall glycemic index of other foods when taken together. That doesn’t mean grab some almonds and eat as much brownies and cake as you want, but it can be a real benefit. Sorry, you have to leave the skins on to achieve most of the benefit.
Almonds have also been shown in studies to help people lose fat. The International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders published a study showing that older people whose diets included almonds (they were used to add monounsaturated fat to the diet) lost 50% more body fat than the participants that didn’t include almonds in their diet.
Healthy Food 15 – Sprouted grain bread (no flour) – Far healthier than regular, flour based bread. This type of bread is very rich in fiber, and has a lower glycemic index than regular bread. White bread is so high that it’s used in some glycemic index scales as 100. One problem with regular bread, even whole wheat is that the flour grounds the little particles of wheat so they basically burn faster. (A gross oversimplification, but you get the point).
There you go; the Belly Fat Loser Blog Healthy Food List.
Until next time………….lose that belly fat.