Eat yourself skinny


Laine Gordon

Laine Gordon

( 3 min read )

Find it hard to resist a hamburger? You're not alone. The latest data suggests six out of 10 adults are overweight or obese, with this proportion climbing from 56 percent in 1995 to 61 percent by 2007 to 2008.

But feeding your body what it needs can be simple with the right advice, so take the first bite towards feeling and looking your best – you might even satisfy your taste buds!

A good starting point is to have a chat with your doctor before you take on any new exercise or eating plans.

An accredited practicing dietician can help you put together a healthy eating plan – and if you've got private health insurance you may even be entitled to this advice for free! That's because most providers will offer rebates on health and weight management programs, while some even provide financial incentives to members who take the necessary steps to lose weight and keep it off!

In the meantime, as the lunch hour rolls around, steer clear of that double cheeseburger and consider these healthy-but-often-overlooked foods:

Artichokes

Preparing and eating artichokes might seem a bit daunting given their unusual shape and texture. But with virtually no fat or sodium content, and being rich in vitamin C, potassium and fibre, adding an artichoke to your diet might be the key to fitting your swimsuit this year!

Beets

Beets are one of the best sources of folate, which is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth, such as infancy and pregnancy. One cup of beets provides only 60 calories, no fat and about 40 percent of your daily value for folic acid.

Flax seeds

Loaded with plant chemicals known as lignans, flax seeds are said to provide some protection against cancers that are sensitive to hormones, such as breast cancer. Plus their omega-3 essential fatty acids have heart-healthy effects.

Try them on your morning yoghurt, cereals, sprinkled over salads and breads, and to release the omega-3 fats, grind the seeds prior to serving.

Prunes

They may not be the sexiest item in the supermarket aisle, yet prunes (or dried plums) are packed-full of health benefits. One serving – or about five prunes – has 3 grams of fibre, plus they are high in potassium and magnesium. Studies have shown that prunes promote heart and digestive health, plus they are low in calories!

Turmeric

One of the key ingredients for many Indian, Persian and Thai dishes, turmeric may not be a staple in your spice rack – but it should be! Used as both medicine and food for centuries, studies suggest that this relative of ginger is a promising preventive agent for a wide range of diseases, probably due largely to its anti-inflammatory properties.

 

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