What you should really eat to lose weight
THERE are literally thousands of different foods to choose from in supermarkets and health foods stores.
Some claim to help with fat loss, some are clearly not healthy, and then there are the natural wholefoods that we know are good for us.
So when it comes to weight loss, what are our best food choices?
To make things easier, we've come up with a list of the top foods with evidence to support a link between their consumption and weight loss.
So if you are looking to shift a few kilos, here are the foods to focus on.
We have known for some time that a serve of nuts each day is linked to longevity and weight control, but of all the different varieties of nuts, almonds contain a good dose of protein per serve which makes them a perfect snack option when you are dieting.
Less frequently mentioned than other nut varieties, brazil nuts are especially rich in the antioxidant selenium which is linked to cellular health and for males helps to keep the prostate healthy. Just two each day will give you your daily dose of selenium.
Unlike more refined varieties of wheat, wheatgerm contains a range of key nutrients including zinc and folate and offers a healthy dose of fibre per serve. Adding wheatgerm to cereals and smoothies will help to bump up your overall fibre intake helping to keep you full and your digestive system healthy.
We often hear that carbohydrates are bad for us but when you choose natural, low-GI carbs such as legumes that are digested slowly, we consume our carbs in the right way. A regular serve of lentils or legumes will help to keep cholesterol levels in check and your gut healthy, and is also a rich source of plant-based protein for vegetarians.
There are few breakfast options as nutritious as whole oats' low-GI, high in protein, B-group vitamins and fibre, a serve of oats will keep your energy levels regulated and your gut healthy.
Another wholefood naturally rich in carbohydrate, sweet potato is also exceptionally high in beta carotene, the plant source of Vitamin A, which is known to help protect our cells from damage. Also rich in fibre and vitamin C, sweet potato is a perfect low-GI carb to include in your evening meal.
One of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat, kale is a rich source of folate, vitamin K, beta carotene and vitamin C and is especially rich in the antioxidant flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol, which play a key role in protecting cells. Best consumed lightly cooked, or raw, nutrient absorption will be enhanced when kale is consumed with some fat via olive oil or avocado.
One of the cruciferous vegetables known for their strong anti-cancer properties, broccoli is another nutrient-rich food which has a number of health benefits when consumed cooled or raw. Broccoli is also exceptionally low in calories and will help to keep you fuller thanks to its relatively high fibre content.
A good fat superfood, it is the type of fat in avocados known to keep our blood fats under control and our heart healthy long-term. Adding avocado to salads and vegetables will also help to enhance nutrient absorption while the good fat also helps to slow digestion, keeping you fuller for longer after eating.
Berries are known for their relatively low sugar content and high levels of vitamin C but it is specifically the high polyphenol content of blueberries that is linked to a reduction in the development of fat cells in the body.
One of the leanest sources of protein, chicken breast specifically is particularly low in fat and is one of the most filling, protein-rich foods you can find.
Whether your preference is sardines, salmon or fresh tuna, a daily dose of omega-3-rich fish is linked to a lower risk of developing heart disease, lower levels of inflammation and healthier cells which are able to process our sugars and fats more efficiently.
A high-protein superfood, eggs are a nutrient powerhouse offering more than 20 essential vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, choline, omega-3 fat, iron and the antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin which help to keep cells healthy. Specifically consuming eggs at breakfast is linked to insulin control, the hormone that controls fat metabolism in the body.
Susie Burrell is a nutritionist. Follow her on Twitter: @SusieBDiet