Weight Loss Power Foods

In addition to following a plant-based, whole foods diet, incorporating certain foods can help catalyze weight loss, says John Bagnulo, Ph.D. Make the choices below staples of your weekly diet.

Grapefruit has a compound called naringenin that studies have shown can make our insulin more effective. Bagnulo recommends one grapefruit a day, eaten like an orange; not cut in half and scooped out.

Wild Salmon and Other Fish Rich in Omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body and can increase our cells' ability to burn fat.

Raw Carrots, Raw Apples, Oats, and Beans
These foods are a good source of fiber and "resistant starches," those that the body has to expend a lot of energy to break down. Unlike foods that cause a blood-sugar rush, "sugar from these foods will only be able to drip into the bloodstream," says Bagnulo.

Almonds, Avocado, and Olive Oil
These foods are high in fat, but about 70 percent of that fat is monounsaturated, the heart-healthy kind. "These foods help make our cells more insulin sensitive," says Bagnulo. "Less insulin typically means weight loss." One note of caution: For optimal weight loss, avoid combining high-fat foods with simple carbs like white bread, baked potatoes, or sugar. For example, if you are going to eat an avocado, serve it on a high-fiber, multigrain bread rather than a white tortilla.

Kiwis have a low glycemic index, meaning that their glucose enters the bloodstream very slowly. "They taste sweet and can offer people the fresh sweet fruit taste that they crave, yet they contribute just a fraction of the sugar that other sweet-tasting foods do," says Bagnulo.

Text by Celina Ottaway

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