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Healthy Eating

6 best healthy foods to lose belly fat and slow aging, says Dietitian

Keep your body slim and looking as young as can be with these healthy foods. Here are best foods to lose belly fat and slow aging.

Getting older brings a slew of changes to the body–especially to the metabolism. And one area you may be noticing more fat accumulation is around the belly.

“Belly fat builds due to excess caloric intake, genetics, aging, cortisol, stress, high saturated fat intake, and lack of sleep,” explains registered dietitian Jonathan Valdez, RDN, owner of Genki Nutrition and a spokesperson for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. And that belly fat buildup can lead to serious health problems.

“Accumulating belly fat can cause an increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and inflammation,” adds Valdez.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet as you age can not only reduce belly fat but also help slow the aging process. If you want both benefits, here are seven foods you should be adding to your diet, according to dietitians.

1. Almonds

Almonds are an excellent source of plant protein that keeps you feeling satisfied while keeping you from reaching for less healthy mid-day munchies.

One serving of almonds provides six grams of protein, about the amount that’s in one egg or one ounce of chicken.

Almonds are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats that may help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and help promote heart health. Almonds are also rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce wrinkles, a natural process of aging. Almond oil is often included in beauty products for a reason!

Almond Nutrition Facts

Almonds are a nutritious, portable, low-carbohydrate food that can be used in cooking or eaten as is. Almonds can be purchased salted, unsalted, raw, or roasted. Almonds are also highly versatile. They can be turned into almond butter, made into almond milk, or ground to make almond meal.

Research suggests that eating nuts on a regular basis might contribute to better heart health and other health benefits. Almonds can be a great choice, as they provide protein, fiber, and micronutrients such as vitamin E and iron. Raw and roasted almonds are sodium-free, which is important for people who have a history of hypertension or are looking to lower their sodium intake for other reasons.

This nutrition information, for one ounce of almonds (28g) or about 24 whole almonds, is provided by the USDA.

Calories: 164
Fat: 14.2g
Sodium: 0.3mg
Carbohydrates: 6.1g
Fiber: 3.5g
Sugars: 1.2g
Protein: 6g

Carbs: A single serving of almonds provides 6.1 grams of carbohydrate. Almonds are a good source of fiber and have a lower glycemic index than many other nuts, making them a good choice for people on low-carb diets.

Fats: Almonds are high-fat foods, providing about 22% of the recommended daily amount of fat in a single ounce. However, most of the fat found in almonds is monounsaturated fat, which has cardio-protective properties. There is just over 1 gram of saturated fat, 9 grams of monounsaturated fat, and 3.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat in a serving of almonds.

Protein: Almonds are a good source of plant-based protein, containing small amounts of all the essential and non-essential amino acids. There are 6 grams of protein in an ounce of almonds.

Vitamins and Minerals: One ounce of almonds contains 37% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin E, 8% of the daily recommended amount of calcium, and 6% of the daily recommended amount of iron.

Vitamin E confers antioxidant properties and supports immune function. Calcium is important for maintaining the structure of teeth and bones. Iron helps in the production of certain hormones and getting oxygen to muscles.

Almonds are a rich source of manganese and magnesium. Manganese plays an important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and cholesterol. Magnesium is involved in over 300 metabolic pathways, including energy production, protein synthesis, cell signaling, and structural functions like bone formation.

Calories: Almonds are a calorie-rich food, providing 164 calories per single ounce. Most of the calories come from healthy fat, with smaller amounts coming from carbohydrates and protein.

2. Strawberries

6 best healthy foods to lose belly fat and slow aging, says Dietitian

Strawberries can add natural sweetness to any dish while also adding fiber, potassium, folate, and antioxidants.

Strawberries, both fresh and frozen, are one of the best sources of vitamin C. A serving of about eight strawberries has as much vitamin C as an orange, which is all the vitamin C we need in a day. Vitamin C helps to support collagen in skin and bones — both important to support healthy aging.

Fruits also fight off sweet cravings, and also have antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to optimize the body’s function.

Strawberry Nutrition Facts

The strawberry is a beautifully sweet, aromatic, fiber-rich fruit packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Strawberries are one of the most well-liked fruits on the market, with a naturally delicious flavor and lots of health benefits to offer. It’s easy to agree that strawberries fit perfectly into a healthy lifestyle.

One cup of halved strawberries (152g) provides 49 calories, 1g protein, 12g carbohydrates, and 0.5g fat. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.

Calories: 49
Fat: 0.5g
Sodium: 1.5mg
Carbohydrates: 11.7g
Fiber: 3g
Sugars: 7.4g
Protein: 1g
Vitamin C: 89.4mg
Potassium: 233mg
Magnesium: 19,8mg

Carbs: Strawberries have about 12 grams of carbohydrates per cup. This includes 3 grams of fiber and 7.4 grams of sugar. The glycemic index of strawberries is 25 and the glycemic load is 3.

Fats: Strawberries are naturally very low in fat—half a gram per cup. The majority of these are polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Protein: Strawberries have just 1 gram of protein per cup.

Vitamins and Minerals: Strawberries are loaded with vitamin C, nearly meeting the daily value with a one-cup srving. They are also high in potassium, folate, calcium, and magnesium.

Calories: Strawberries are a low-calorie food, with most of the calories coming from carbohydrates. They are high in fiber, helping to slow the digestion of carbs and keep blood sugar steady.

3. Whole grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice)

If you want to lose belly fat and slow aging, whole grains like oats, quinoa, and brown rice are good options to add to your diet. “Whole grains are high fiber (and also have some protein) that increases satiety while minimizing caloric intake,” says Valdez. “Compared to non-whole grain counterparts, they contain more minerals, vitamins, and other antioxidants as well that can help with slowing the aging process.”

4. Beans

Beans, also known as pulses or legumes, are probably the most underrated food in the store! Beans provide a wealth of nutrients, including plant protein and fiber, that will move you and help you feel satisfied at the same time.

Since beans also help to control the natural process of aging by regulating blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol levels, beans help you throughout the life cycle.

Black Bean Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 1/2 cup of canned black beans (120g).

Calories: 109
Fat: 0.4g
Sodium: 461mg
Carbohydrates: 20g
Fiber: 8.3g
Sugars: 0.3g
Protein: 7.3g
Folate: 73mcg
Iron: 2.3mg
Thiamin: 0.17mg

Carbs: Black beans are rich in carbohydrates and they are also and excellent source of fiber (both soluble and insoluble). Black beans also do not contain sugar. Instead, they have slowly-digested carbohydrates and resistant starch. This means that the carbohydrates in black beans are slowly converted to glucose, and some are not digested at all.

The glycemic index of a food is an indicator of how much the food may affect your blood glucose level. The glycemic index of black beans depends on how they are prepared. If you soak and boil black beans, the average glycemic index is 20, which is moderately low. If you cook them with a pressure cooker or use canned beans, the glycemic index is approximately 30, which is also moderately low.

The glycemic load takes into account both the glycemic index and the serving size. A serving of 1/2 cup cooked black beans has a glycemic load of 7, which is considered low.

Fats: Black beans have very little fat, and most of the fat is polyunsaturated. A 1/2 cup serving of black beans has 90 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids and 108 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acids.

Protein: Black beans are protein powerhouses, with 7.3 grams of protein in a 1/2 cup serving. You can enjoy black beans in many dishes to help fulfill your daily protein needs.

Vitamins and Minerals: Black beans are a good source of folate.2 A half cup serving provides 73mcg or 18% of the daily value (DV). This nutrient is responsible for producing red blood cells and plays a role in preventing neural tube defects during pregnancy.

Black beans are a good source of iron, providing 2.3 mg or 13% of the DV. Additionally, black beans supply 0.28mg of manganese (12% DV), 42 mg of magnesium (10% DV), and 0.17mg of thiamin (14% DV).

If you’re a vegetarian who relies on beans as a source of iron, it is good to know that eating foods with vitamin C, such as citrus fruit and tomatoes, helps increase iron absorption.

5. Vegetables (artichokes, Brussels sprouts)

“Vegetables are high in fiber, which increases satiety on lower calories–which also prevents excessive caloric intake,” says Valdez. “In addition, they contain antioxidants that help fight off inflammation while decreasing the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers that can ‘age’ the body.”

6. Lean Protein (white meat chicken, tilapia, turkey)

“Lean protein helps with satiety to prevent overconsumption of calories,” says Valdez. “In addition, lean meats contain minerals like zinc and iron, which are responsible for numerous enzymes in the body. Also, protein is needed to create collagen that is used to help the elasticity of the skin.”

Source: Eatthis/verywellfit!

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