WHAT DINNER FOODS CAN HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT HEALTHFULLY

 You can build a filling, diet-friendly dinner (that includes dessert) around these four slimming ingredients. Find out what dinner foods can help you lose weight healthfully.

When you’re trying to slim down, every meal-and calorie-counts. But that doesn’t mean that dinner has to be a skimpy salad. You can build a filling, diet-friendly dinner (that includes dessert) around these four slimming ingredients. Find out what dinner foods can help you lose weight healthfully.

1.Mix and Match Vegetables

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Vegetables are among the lowest-calorie foods you can eat, while also offering solid nutritional benefits and helpful fiber, remind the experts at the United States Department of Agriculture. How many veggies you should eat every week depends on several factors, such as your age, weight and activity level. A good rule of thumb is to aim for two to three cups of vegetables per day.

One way to get a full range of nutrients and fiber is to make sure that at least half of the food on your dinner plate consists of vegetables. Mix leafy, dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach or kale, with red and yellow peppers and red tomatoes. Grill or broil eggplant, zucchini and yellow or butternut squash. These offer you a lot of vitamins and minerals for very few calories, especially if you rely on lemon juice, herbs and spices for your seasonings.

The more colorful your plate, the better. Experiment with sweet potatoes instead of white ones. Mix green beans and yellow wax beans and dress them with olive oil and red pepper flakes. Butternut squash can be mashed or cubed and enjoyed as a savory dish or a sweet one. It can also be served cold and goes extremely well with blackberries, dried cranberries or pumpkin seeds in a salad.

2.Lean protein 

Beef, chicken, pork, fish, tofu or beans-it doesn’t matter which you pick-all are protein-rich. Gram for gram, protein will keep you feeling fuller longer compared to carbohydrates and fat. And don’t forget about dairy. Dairy should still be used sparingly, with an emphasis on products like cheese, which is fermented, and yogurt, which contains the kinds of probiotics that are effective in keeping your gut bacteria balanced. Having a healthy gut allows your body to process nutrients more efficiently. There are lactose-free products if you are lactose-intolerant, and soy or nut-based products if you are vegetarian or vegan.

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3.Gravitate Toward Grains

Grains are an excellent source of both carbohydrates and fiber, according to the Mayo Clinic, but they’re created equal. Refined grains are those that have been milled to give them a very fine texture and also extend the amount of time during which they may be used before spoiling. Unfortunately, refining grains like wheat and rice also removes much of their nutrient load and fiber.

Most types of bread and pasta are made with refined flour, meaning that the carbs they contain are digested very quickly, which can affect your blood sugar levels. Instead, look for pastas made with whole wheat or chickpeas and choose bread that contains cracked wheat or oatmeal.

Whole grains should make up one-quarter of your dinner plate. These include brown rice, barley, quinoa, millet and bulgur, also known as cracked wheat. They can be served alone or prepared using aromatics like onions, shallots and garlic. Most serve well as the base for a stir-fry or any type of protein served with a gravy or sauce.

4.Focus on Healthy Fats

Even more important than how much fat you take in every day is the type of fat you are eating, cautions the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Thre are four basic types of fat, Roswell goes on to explain.

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The very worst type of fat is trans fat. These fats are found in mass-produced baked goods and margarine. Trans fats lower your levels of high-density lipoproteins, or “good” cholesterol, and raise your levels of low-density lipoproteins, or “bad” cholesterol.

The next worst type of fat is saturated fat. This is found in animal products, such as red meat and full-fat dairy products. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature, Roswell Park says, which is why you can leave butter on the counter and it will still retain its shape. Palm oil and coconut oil also contain saturated fats. These are best used very sparingly, such as a small pat of butter on baked sweet potatoes.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are mainly found in some vegetables and in fish. They raise your levels of good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol levels.

Polyunsaturated fats include essential fatty acids. These may help lower your risk of heart attacks and stroke as well as certain types of cancers. They are found in salmon, mackerel, avocados and olive oil, which should all be welcome on your dinner plate when you’re trying to lose weight.

Source: Eatingwell, livestrong

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