Thursday, March 21, 2013

Why are Avocados, Coconut Oil and Nuts Listed at Weight Loss Foods?

It may seem as if including things such as avocados, coconut oil, nuts and plenty of eggs on a list of weight loss foods makes no sense.  These, and other similar foods, actually do help you lose weight because they offer health benefits that go far beyond their strict caloric value. 

Remember, to lose weight you must restrict your caloric intake – yes, but you must also maximize the number of nutrients per calorie.

One of the Unknown Weight Loss Foods--Coconut Oil
Poor coconut oil, it has such a bad reputation.  It just isn't justified.  Coconut oil is a fat, and it does contain a great deal of saturated fat, but there is fat and then there is fat.

Coconut oil contains a number of chemicals that fight bacterial incredibly well, but the key factor in weight loss comes from the unique structure of coconut oil.

Unlike many saturated fats, coconut oil is made up of medium chain triglycerides.  The body is able to break them down easily and therefore uses them in the same manner as carbohydrates.

Additionally, the oils in coconut oil cause a rise in metabolic rate, meaning that you burn more energy, more quickly.

The Heart Healthy Avocado is Also a Weight Loss Food
Avocados are high in fat, but it is monounsaturated fat – which is heart healthy.  Scientists have also found several compounds within avocados which might help prevent cancer.

In fact those compounds have been demonstrated to inhibit prostate cancer cells in the lab.  Finally, avocados have a slew of antioxidants, lutein, beta-carotene and vitamin E.

Nuts are Weight Loss Foods as Well
Many studies have now confirmed that nuts are among the healthiest foods you can eat.  Raw nuts are best since the process of roasting them can affect their nutritional profile.  Among the raw nuts walnuts, almonds, cashews and pecans are usually the easiest to try, but it is a matter of preference.

While an ounce of nuts might contain about 200 calories they provide interesting benefits.  Unlike many other high fat foods, nuts appear to suppress appetite.  They do it so well that people who regularly eat nuts are routinely thinner than those who don't.

Risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes are significantly reduced among those who eat nuts daily.  Additionally because nuts contain high levels of unsaturated fats they reduce blood cholesterol levels as well.

Fiber, magnesium, vitamin E, folic acid, copper and argine are all available in nuts, as are manganese and plant sterols.  The benefits of nuts just go on and on.

How to Put Nuts, Avocados, and Coconut Oil Into Your Daily Diet
Of course, just because a food is good for you or offers many healthy benefits doesn't mean you can eat limitless quantities.  These foods are high in fat after all, even if it is the right kinds of fat.  Here are some guidelines to follow.

1. Nuts -- No more than 1-2 ounces of nuts per day.  If you prefer to have your nuts in the form of nut butters, take that into consideration.  Raw nuts are the best choice, and you can find them in just about any healthy food store.

2. Avocado -- The current recommendations begin at about 1/6 of an avocado a day, but you really can eat more.  Use mashed avocado instead of mayonnaise, slice some into a salad or top your eggs with slices of this delicious and healthy fruit.
3. Coconut oil -- When in comes to frying at high temperature, coconut oil can turn ordinary foods into weight loss foods.  With a high burn point it handles the job well, it makes the kitchen smell like coconut and it adds nutrients as it cooks.

Even foods that have developed a bad reputation deserve a second look.  Many of them provide nutrients that aren't found in other ingredients, others suffered from the low fat revolution of the 80s and 90s.  New research is demonstrating there are many weight loss foods you would never expect, so don't limit your selections.