If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that eating fat doesn’t make you fat – quite the opposite in fact! Healthy fats are essential for everything from cell growth to hormone function; they can even help BURN fat in the body.
Similarly, carbohydrate-rich foods have been vilified for causing weight gain and many other health problems. While that’s certainly the case with refined sources of sugar, such as white bread, cakes and biscuits, certain foods high in fibre and resistant starch have been shown to help shift stubborn pounds.
This isn’t a green card for a diet high in junk food; there’s no denying that processed foods full of white sugar, hydrogenated oils and additives will hinder your weight loss goals. Ensure that you fill up on healthy fats and carbohydrates such as ones listed below.
Think wine, chocolate and cheese are off the menu? Think again! Here are the ‘fattening foods’ to add to your basket for a slimmer physique…
You may have swapped olive oil for ‘low-fat’ salad dressings in a bid to lose inches, but you’re not doing your body any favours. Not only does olive oil help your body absorb nutrients from the salad, but according to a study published in the Obesity journal, an olive oil-rich diet increases levels of adiponectin – a hormone responsible for breaking down fat – more than a high-carb or high-protein diet.
It’s one of the year’s hottest food trends, and with good reason! Although coconut is high in saturated fat, around half of this is made from lauric acid, a medium-chain triglyceride that improves cholesterol and has shown in studies to enhance weight loss (particularly abdominal fat).
There’s no need to ditch your chocolate habit if you’re aiming to slim down – simply switch to dark chocolate. Aside from its numerous other health benefits, dark chocolate rich in pure cocoa butter is full of stearic acid, a fatty acid that slows digestion and makes you feel fuller for longer.
New research from the University of Copenhagen has shown that full-fat cheese can increase the body’s HDL (good) cholesterol and metabolic rate, thanks to its high levels of butyric acid. Reduced-fat cheese doesn’t have the same effects, so tuck into a bit of the proper stuff now and then guilt-free!
Although alcohol is full of empty calories, its been widely reported that an occasional glass of red wine could help your weight loss efforts. An antioxidant called resveratrol found in grape skins stops fat storage and protects the body against insulin resistance.
While all nuts have great health benefits, almonds in particular are cited as weight-loss aids thanks to their high fibre levels and compounds that limit the amount of fat absorbed by the body. Nuts have had a bad rep in the past for being high calorie, but a small handful each day may help to melt the pounds away.
This crocodile-skinned superfood is full of oleic acids (the same ones found in olive and sunflower oil), protein and fibre, all of which increase satiety.
They may have been shunned by the carb brigade, but potatoes can actually boost weight loss as they’re full of resistant starch and fibre, both of which help the body burn fat. Avoid french fries and crisps cooked in cheap vegetable oils and opt for boiled, steamed or lightly cooked in olive oil for a boost of healthy fats.