Apples Nutrients: Vitamin C, potassium How they help control weight: Low-fat apples contain pectin, a soluble fiber that helps carry dietary fats and cholesterol out of the body as waste. Serving size: One apple Notes: Research shows that eating three small apples a day promotes weight control. Eat apples raw, including the fiber-rich peel. Red apples contain pyruvate, a metabolism-boosting antioxidant (see page 29 for details).
Lentils Nutrients: Vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, iron, zinc How they help control weight: High fiber content fills your stomach quickly with a small amount and helps you feel full for a long time. Serving size: 1/2 cup Notes: Try lentil soup or baked lentil “meatloaf,” accompanied by steamed vegetables and rice. To alleviate flatulence, add kombu (a sea vegetable) to lentils during cooking.
Oatmeal Nutrients: B vitamins, iron, potassium How it helps control weight: Low-fat, high-fiber complex carbohydrate that is digested slowly and has a long satiation factor. Serving size: 1/2 cup Notes: Eat whole oats cooked or uncooked, served with 1/2 cup of low-fat milk and fresh fruit; or one slice of whole-oat bread with 1 tablespoon of natural (no sugar added) peanut butter.
Spinach Nutrients: Vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, calcium, iron How it helps control weight: High in dietary fiber and 91 percent water, making it a super “low-energy-density” food that provides satisfaction at a low calorie count. Serving size: 1/2 cup Notes: Eat fresh in a salad, or lightly steamed.
Yogurt Nutrients: Vitamins A, B, and D; calcium How it helps control weight: Studies show that the calcium and protein derived from yogurt and other low-fat dairy products may help to burn fat. Serving size: 1 cup Notes: Yogurt is a high-protein snack at less than 100 calories per serving. Look for brands that contain acidophilus and lactobacillus, “good” bacteria that promote digestion and immunity.
Sources: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2005, vol. 81, no. 1; International Journal of Obesity, 2005, vol. 29, no. 4; The New Complete Book of Food by Carol Ann Rinzler (Checkmark, 1999); >Nutrition, 2003, vol. 19, no. 3.