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As we all know, excess weight is a serious health threat. It can increase your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and certain cancers. Moreover, being overweight can make it difficult to find or keep clothes that fit.
Therefore, losing weight is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, most diets provide limited opportunities for balanced nutrition and are excessively limited in their suggestions for a healthy diet.
Fortunately, many healthy food alternatives are available if you want to lose weight and keep it off once you reach your goal. Below we’ve outlined some of the best options for those who are trying to lose weight or maintain their current body fat percentage
1. Whole-grain bread
Whole-grain bread is rich in fiber and can serve as a healthy food alternative for people who are trying to lose weight. The kernels of these grains are composed of two layers, the bran and the germ, which are essential for healthy digestion and contain B vitamins and minerals. They also contain essential fatty acids and antioxidants that stabilize blood sugar levels.
Apples are a staple in many diets and a healthy food alternative for weight loss. Applesauce is a convenient snack and contains plenty of essential nutrients. However, not all applesauce is healthy. Choosing the right variety can make a difference between a healthy snack and a sugary one.
There are two types of applesauce to choose from: unsweetened and sweetened. Unsweetened applesauce contains no sugar and has a tart taste. You can also opt for a fiber-boosted version.
3. Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt can be a healthy food alternative for weight loss because it is full of protein. This macronutrient is important for the growth and repair of cells and protects the body from various diseases.
It is also necessary for brain activity and helps curb hunger pangs. Protein intake also improves muscle gains. A cup of Greek yogurt can contain up to 17 grams of protein.
Greek yogurt can be purchased in a variety of milkfat percentages, ranging from 0% to 2%. You can also find products that have 3.25% whole milk. Some varieties have a higher milkfat content, reaching 4 or 7%.
While full-fat dairy has a bad rap when it comes to cholesterol and saturated fat, some studies indicate that the fat is actually good for you. Furthermore, added fat may boost your body’s absorption of key nutrients.
4. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is a superfood when it comes to weight loss. Chocolate contains chemicals called flavonoids, which are known to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants that fight against aging and promote healthy skin and hair.
Chocolate also has a low glycemic index rating, meaning it will not spike your blood sugar levels or cause the same insulin response as other sugars. As a result of its high cocoa content, dark chocolate also contains natural stimulants that may help with appetite suppression and fat burning.
Dark chocolate also has a good amount of fiber, which helps keep you feeling full for longer periods of time — meaning you don’t need as many snacks throughout the day!
It’s hard not to love some dark chocolate with its sweet taste and rich flavor. But if eating candy bars all day isn’t tempting enough for you, try making your own homemade dark chocolate with these tips:
- Use unsweetened cocoa powder in your homemade dark chocolate recipe
- Add natural sweeteners like raw honey or maple syrup
- Add spices like cinnamon or anise seed
Oatmeal contains beta-glucan, which increases your feeling of fullness. This substance increases the production of peptide YY, a satiety hormone. This hormone helps you feel full longer and thus reduces your calorie intake. This process is a powerful way to lose weight and maintain a healthy body.
Oats are a great source of fiber, magnesium, and protein. They are also high in vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins. The soluble fiber found in oats makes them ideal for lowering cholesterol levels. Oats can be cooked as porridge or made into bread, muffins, or pancakes.
Strawberries are packed with antioxidants, which can help decrease inflammation, improve digestion and enhance your mood. The antioxidants in strawberries aren’t just great for your body — they also help with weight loss by preventing fat absorption.
Antioxidants are also thought to lower cholesterol levels, which is a key component of heart disease prevention. Strawberries also contain a compound called fisetin that boosts metabolism, making them a great snack option for anyone wanting to lose weight.
In addition to their capacity for weight loss, strawberries are a delicious way to get your five a day. Strawberries and other berries like blackberries and raspberries can provide you with an array of health benefits — from fighting cancer to boosting brain function.
In addition, one study found that people who ate more produce had healthier eyesight than those who ate less produce or none (British Journal of Nutrition). So replacing processed foods with fresh fruit is good for losing weight and maintaining overall health!
7. High-protein foods
Protein is an important part of a healthy diet. It can help you lose weight and maintain muscle mass, which helps you burn more calories throughout the day. Lean proteins are a great option for those looking to lose weight because they provide a wide variety of nutrients without adding fat along with their protein.
Some lean proteins include chicken, fish, beef, tofu, and eggs. Eggs are high in protein, making them one of the best sources of protein on the planet. Tofu is another good option as it provides a range of nutrients, including calcium and iron.
Protein also brings other benefits to your diet, such as decreasing appetite by increasing satiety levels, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, promoting bone health, and reducing the risk of certain cancers.
Hummus is a Middle Eastern staple and can be used as a healthy food alternative for weight loss. Its traditional ingredients include chickpeas, tahini, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Today, many brands of hummus offer a variety of flavors. Canned chickpeas can also be used for hummus.
Hummus packs a hefty fiber punch and a rich variety of nutrients. Foods with high nutrient density are those that combine plant and animal ingredients. And hummus has heart-healthy fats as well. That means you can enjoy this delicious spread guilt-free!
One recent study showed that hummus could help people reduce snacking by up to 70%. However, some commercial brands can be high in sodium. This is important to consider because too much sodium can cause high blood pressure and heart disease. So, you should limit your intake, especially if you eat more than one serving at a time.
If you’re on a weight loss diet, you might consider making popcorn one of your healthy food alternatives. Popcorn is a whole grain that contains small amounts of nutrients, including a range of polyphenols. These are antioxidants that have been linked to better circulation and digestive health.
It’s also relatively inexpensive and readily available. One serving of popcorn contains about 300 mg of polyphenols, which is equivalent to 13 percent of your daily recommended intake.
Air-popped popcorn is the healthiest type, with 1.2 grams of fiber per cup. Microwaveable popcorn has the same amount of fiber, but more butter or oil and more calories and saturated fat are used.
10. Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are an incredible source of healthy fats and powerful micronutrients. These large, delicious nuts come from trees native to the Amazon rainforest.
While they are not as widely available as their cousins, walnuts and almonds, Brazil nuts are increasingly being used in dishes and drinks. These nuts are also becoming increasingly popular with the keto diet and vegan lifestyle.
Brazil nuts also contain vitamin E and selenium, excellent antioxidants that can help fight oxidative stress and free radicals. Free radicals are harmful to our bodies and contribute to diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Antioxidants can alter these free radicals, which reduces inflammation.
11. Green peas
Green peas are a great source of protein and healthy food because of their fiber content. The fiber in peas helps slow the absorption of sugar and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
They are versatile food that can be added to a variety of dishes. For example, peas can be incorporated into split pea soup, avocado toast, and garden salads. You can also make a pea spread to serve as an appetizer.
Green peas contain antioxidants and help lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. They also reduce inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of irritable bowel syndrome.
They also contain a variety of minerals that are beneficial to the heart and the bloodstream, such as potassium and magnesium. They are a good source of vitamin C and flavonoids.
Mushrooms are a healthy alternative to meat because they are rich in protein, dietary fiber, and other important nutrients. They are easily digestible and have a meat-like texture. As an added bonus, mushrooms are low in fat and calories. They are also a good source of vitamin D.
Mushrooms are also excellent for those with heart disease because they contain a number of nutrients. They contain a high amount of dietary fiber, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels. They also contain special enzymes that help to break down starch and sugar.
Moreover, they improve your immune system. Mushrooms are a part of the fungi family, so they have properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria and microbes. Additionally, their high levels of zinc and selenium are beneficial for the body.
When it comes to dieting, there are many options that you can choose from. However, adjusting your diet based on your goals and lifestyle is important. While some people need to eat little and exercise a lot, others might be able to increase their weight loss by adding healthier food alternatives.