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Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber.

6 Health Benefits of Pistachios (Pista): From Weight Loss to Heart Health

They also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. That's one reason beans are a useful food for folks trying to lose weight. With so many choices — from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, and beyond — and so many ways to prepare them, beans are a very versatile food.

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Eggplant and okra. These two low-calorie vegetables are good sources of soluble fiber. A bushel of studies shows that eating almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts is good for the heart. Nuts have additional nutrients that protect the heart in other ways. Vegetable oils.

Using liquid vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, safflower, and others in place of butter, lard, or shortening when cooking or at the table helps lower LDL. Apples, grapes, strawberries, citrus fruits. These fruits are rich in pectin, a type of soluble fiber that lowers LDL.


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Foods fortified with sterols and stanols. Sterols and stanols extracted from plants gum up the body's ability to absorb cholesterol from food. Companies are adding them to foods ranging from margarine and granola bars to orange juice and chocolate. They're also available as supplements. Eating soybeans and foods made from them, like tofu and soy milk, was once touted as a powerful way to lower cholesterol.

Fatty fish. Omega-3s reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and also protect the heart by helping prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.

9 ways you add extra calories to your day

It also gives the body the extra padding required when engaging in physically demanding activities such as ice- or roller skating, horseback riding, or snowboarding. The dietary fats in the foods we eat break down in our digestive systems and begin the transport of precious micronutrients. By carrying fat-soluble nutrients through the digestive process, intestinal absorption is improved.

This improved absorption is also known as increased bioavailability Refers to the proportion of nutrients that are absorbed or become available in the bloodstream. Fat-soluble nutrients are especially important for good health and exhibit a variety of functions. Vitamins A, D, E, and K—the fat-soluble vitamins—are mainly found in foods containing fat. Some fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A are also found in naturally fat-free foods such as green leafy vegetables, carrots, and broccoli.

These vitamins are best absorbed when combined with foods containing fat. Fats also increase the bioavailability of compounds known as phytochemicals Nonessential plant compounds considered to have a beneficial impact on human health. Phytochemicals are believed to promote health and well-being. As a result, eating tomatoes with olive oil or salad dressing will facilitate lycopene absorption. Other essential nutrients, such as essential fatty acids, are constituents of the fats themselves and serve as building blocks of a cell.

When products such as grain and dairy are processed, these essential nutrients are lost. Manufacturers replace these nutrients through a process called enrichment. Remember, fat-soluble nutrients require fat for effective absorption. For your next snack, look for foods that contain vitamins A, D, E, and K. Do these foods also contain fat that will help you absorb them?

Sterols vs. Statins

If not, think of ways to add a bit of healthy fat to aid in their absorption. For more details on healthy fat, refer to Section 5. Fat-rich foods naturally have a high caloric density. Foods that are high in fat contain more calories than foods high in protein or carbohydrates. As a result, high-fat foods are a convenient source of energy. For example, 1 gram of fat or oil provides 9 kilocalories of energy, compared with 4 kilocalories found in 1 gram of carbohydrate or protein.

Depending on the level of physical activity and on nutritional needs, fat requirements vary greatly from person to person. When energy needs are high, the body welcomes the high-caloric density of fats. For instance, infants and growing children require proper amounts of fat to support normal growth and development. If an infant or child is given a low-fat diet for an extended period, growth and development will not progress normally. Other individuals with high-energy needs are athletes, people who have physically demanding jobs, and those recuperating from illness.

When the body has used all of its calories from carbohydrates this can occur after just twenty minutes of exercise , it initiates fat usage. A professional swimmer must consume large amounts of food energy to meet the demands of swimming long distances, so eating fat-rich foods makes sense. In contrast, if a person who leads a sedentary lifestyle eats the same high-density fat foods, they will intake more fat calories than their body requires within just a few bites.

Use caution—consumption of calories over and beyond energy requirements is a contributing factor to obesity. Fat contains dissolved compounds that contribute to mouth-watering aromas and flavors. Fat also adds texture to food. Baked foods are supple and moist. Frying foods locks in flavor and lessens cooking time. How long does it take you to recall the smell of your favorite food cooking? What would a meal be without that savory aroma to delight your senses and heighten your preparedness for eating a meal? Fat plays another valuable role in nutrition.

Fat contributes to satiety The feeling of being satisfied or full.

Best Diets - Top-Rated Diets

When fatty foods are swallowed the body responds by enabling the processes controlling digestion to retard the movement of food along the digestive tract, thus promoting an overall sense of fullness. Oftentimes before the feeling of fullness arrives, people overindulge in fat-rich foods, finding the delectable taste irresistible.

Indeed, the very things that make fat-rich foods attractive also make them a hindrance to maintaining a healthful diet.


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While fats provide delicious smells, tastes, and textures to our foods, they also provide numerous calories. To allow your body to experience the satiety effect of the fat before you overindulge, try savoring rich foods. Eating slowly will allow you to both fully enjoy the experience and be sated with a smaller portion. Remember to take your time. TLC Diet rated 2 on the list.

What it is: The diet aims to cut high cholesterol, which means keeping fatty meat to a minimum and sticking to fish and skinless chicken along with lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and low-fat or nonfat dairy. Sam says: "This plan focuses on cutting way back on saturated fat from things like butter and fatty meats like brisket. That's great advice, but the diet also suggests aiming for no more than mg of cholesterol each day — the amount in a single egg.

Most healthy people can safely eat more cholesterol, including an egg a day, since the cholesterol in our diets doesn't have the same impact on our blood cholesterol as saturated and trans fats do. For people with cholesterol concerns, TLC also has suggestions for other ways to tweak your diet to lower unhealthy LDL [low-density lipoproteins, i. These are great ideas but may require some careful planning, which can be challenging. What it is: The diet, which has been all over the news lately due to its anti-diabetes benefits , aims to help you lose weight and prevent a host of diseases like cancer, heart disease, and, yes, diabetes.