"Nuts" The New American Diet smart bombs. They’re packed with monounsaturated fatty acids, those good-for-you fats that lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes, and, according to new research, help you control your appetite.
"Whole Grains" When Harvard University researchers analyzed the diets of more than 27,000 people over 8 years, they discovered that those who ate whole grains daily weighed 2.5 pounds less than those who ate only refined-grain foods.
"Avocados and Other Healthy Fats" Just because a food has plenty of fat and calories doesn’t mean it’s fattening. See, certain foods cause you to gain weight because they provoke hormonal changes that trigger cravings, or “rebound hunger.”
"Meats (Pasture-Raised and Free-Range)" Grass-fed beef, chicken, and pork are leaner and healthier than conventional livestock—and can help trim away pounds.
"Environmentally Sustainable Fish" Choosing seafood these days isn't easy. Some species (swordfish, farmed salmon) contain obesity-promoting pollutants (dioxins, PCBs).
"Raspberries and Other Berries" A recent study by researchers at Yale University school of medicine discovered that after eating a high-carb, high-sugar meal, free radicals (rogue molecules produced when your body breaks down food) attack the neurons that tell us when we’re full. The result: It’s hard to judge when hunger is satisfied. Escape the cycle of overindulgence by eating foods that are rich in antioxidants. And berries top the charts.
"Instant Oats" Fiber is the secret to losing weight without going hungry. One U.S. Department of Agriculture study found that those who increased their daily fiber intake from 12 grams to 24 absorbed 90 fewer calories per day than those who ate the same amount of food but less fiber.
"Cruciferous Vegetables and Other Folate-Rich Greens" The more folate you have in your diet, the lower your risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s and depression. And a recent study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that those with the highest folate levels lose 8.5 times more weight when dieting.
"Apples and Other Fruits" What makes the apple so potent? In part, it’s because most of us eat the peel: It’s a great way to add fiber and nutrients to your diet.
"Navy Beans and Other Legumes" Study after study reveals that bean eaters live longer and weigh less. One study showed that people who eat 3/4 cup of beans daily weigh 6.6 pounds less than those who don't eat beans.
"Dark Chocolate" A new study from Denmark found that those who eat dark chocolate consume 15 percent fewer calories at their next meal and are less interested in fatty, salty, and sugary foods.
"Ice Cream and Other Healthy Desserts" Calcium-rich desserts like ice cream bind to fatty acids in the digestive tract, blocking their absorption. In one study, participants who ate 1,735 mg of calcium from low-fat dairy products (about as much as in five 8-ounce glasses of milk) blocked the equivalent of 85 calories a day.