“You are what you eat!” At least that’s what you’ve probably heard since you were a kid. As an adult, you know you’re not going to literally turn into a candy bar or watermelon after eating those items, but the old saying does have a dose of truth to it. If your diet consists primarily of greasy, processed and unhealthy foods, you’ll probably begin to look and feel the same — fatty and unhealthy.
While there are certainly multiple factors at play when it comes to diet, weight and overall health, people with healthy bodies don’t get that way by regularly eating unhealthy food. Eating whole foods, plenty of protein and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables is key to health.
Here are the top five foods you should incorporate into your diet for health and weight loss.
Although they were once thought to raise blood cholesterol and cause heart attacks, eggs are actually one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Eggs are high in protein, contain healthy fats and are filling without all the calories.
Start your day with an egg-based breakfast rather than one that’s high in carbs, such as cereal, toast or pastries. You’ll find you have more energy and feel more satisfied throughout the day when you have some protein in the morning.
And who said eggs are only for breakfast? Try this egg-topped quinoa bowl for a healthy dinner.
We’re talking spinach, kale and Swiss chard, as well as a few others. Dark, leafy greens are low in calories and carbs and loaded with healthy fiber.
Use leafy greens to easily increase the volume of your meal so you’ll feel full without adding calories. As an added bonus, leafy greens are chock full of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which help boost weight loss and keep your immune system strong and healthy.
Here are 19 ways you can get more leafy greens in your diet.
If you want a great source of healthy fats, eat oily fish such as salmon on a regular basis. Not only is salmon delicious, but it will also keep you satisfied for hours. It’s loaded with protein, nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, which slow inflammation, and some studies have shown these essential fats also help cause weight loss.
Tired of salmon? Mackerel, sardines, herring and tuna are other great options. Try this nutrient-packed superfood salmon salad.
When you’re feeling snacky, reach for a handful of nuts rather than that vending machine snack. Nuts contain a balance of protein, fiber and healthy fats that can help improve your health and promote weight loss. Research shows that people who eat nuts in moderation are healthier and leaner than those who don’t.
While nuts are healthy, they are high in calories, so don’t go overboard. Some of the best nuts to eat for weight loss include almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts and cashews.
Meat, especially beef, has been vilified in our health culture, but the truth is, not all meat is bad for you. Unprocessed red meat doesn’t have the same effect on your cardiovascular health as processed meat. And meat is a great weight-loss friendly food because of its high protein content. Increasing the protein in your diet can help reduce cravings, keep you more satisfied and help you burn more calories throughout the day.
The best cuts of lean meat for weight loss include grass-fed beef, bison, chicken, turkey and pork tenderloin. Check out this recipe for sheet pan pork and cherry tomatoes.
It’s important to keep in mind that every person is different, and what your body needs may vary from what others need for weight loss. To get a clear understanding of just how many calories, fats, carbs and protein you should be eating to lose weight, schedule a consultation with your Nobilis Health physician.