||Food in The News
/ Food Hot News
Bad Foods that are Actually Great
for Your Waist
If you've been avoiding burgers, ice cream, and pizza
thinking you're doing your waistline a favor, don't. They can actually
help you lose weight -- and keep it off, too. Here are the hidden slim-down
perks of five foods that get a bad rap and the best way to add each
one back into your diet.
Lean red meat, such as l sirloin tip, T-bone, or strip steak, is a great
source of protein for dieters.
Even burgers and meatballs can be light fare if you make them with ground
sirloin, says Bonnie Gluck, M.S., R.D., a clinical dietitian at New
York Methodist Hospital in New York City. "Lean red meat -- lean
being the operative word -- is a great choice for women who are trying
to shed pounds," she says. "It's an excellent source of protein.
And protein takes longer to digest, helping you feel full and cutting
the likelihood that you'll snack later on."
A study of 100 women from Australian researchers found that overweight
women who ate reduced-calorie diets rich in protein from red meat and
dairy lost more weight than those whose reduced-calorie plans had little
meat and more carbs. "Protein can reduce hunger," says study
author Manny Noakes, Ph.D., associate professor with the Commonwealth
Scientific Industrial Research Organization (Australia's national science
agency) in Adelaide. And being less hungry while you're trying to lose
weight can prevent overeating.
Best way to enjoy it: Choose ground beef labeled "97 percent lean"
or "extralean," which means it has less than five grams of
fat per serving. Want steak? Get lower-fat cuts from the loin, like
sirloin tip, T-bone, or strip steak, Gluck says.
Watch out for: Beef that's labeled Prime. "It's very high in fat,"
Gluck says. Buy cuts graded Choice; the meat has less fat and still
tastes good. And remember to limit your portion size, no matter how
lean the meat. "Many restaurants will serve an eight-ounce steak
or burger, which means you're getting twice the amount you actually
need," says Dave Grotto, R.D., author of "101 Foods That Could
Save Your Life." Stick to a three-ounce serving (roughly the size
of a deck of cards).
Good news for ice cream lovers: A recent Swedish study published in
the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that women who have
at least one serving of full-fat dairy products a day gain less weight
than women who don't. Researchers aren't entirely sure why, but it's
believed that a compound in milk fat called conjugated linoleic acid
(CLA) may aid weight loss. Health.com: Top 5 foods for women
Not all studies support the dairy-aids-weight-loss claim. But Gluck
feels there's more evidence for than against, even if full-fat dairy's
secret is simply that it's more satisfying. "Many women find that
low-fat versions of dairy products like ice cream and cheese just aren't
satisfying," she says, "so they may eat a lot of them -- downing
hundreds of calories in the process, trying to fulfill their craving
-- when just a little bit of the full-fat stuff would have done the
Best way to enjoy it: Have a little cheese, ice cream, or a glass of
milk each day. "You really can't go wrong with that," Gluck
says. "Dairy should be part of your diet, whether you're trying
to shed pounds or not. You need the calcium to maintain strong bones.
And the vitamin D and CLA in milk both have cancer-fighting properties."
Watch out for: Fat intake. Remember that full-fat dairy products do
contain saturated fat, Gluck says, so it's best to limit yourself to
two servings daily -- and to make your third serving a low-fat or skim
After years of being barred from the average American diet, things are
looking sunny-side up for eggs. According to a study from Pennington
Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, overweight women
who eat egg breakfasts lose twice as much weight as women who start
their days with bagels. Researchers say the protein in eggs increases
satiety and decreases hunger, helping women eat fewer calories throughout
the day. "Eggs are a perfect protein source because they have all
eight essential amino acids," Grotto says. "And recent research
debunks the idea that they have adverse effects on the heart."
Best way to enjoy them: Try 'em for breakfast. This is the ideal time
for getting the proven fill-you-up benefits the rest of the day. Besides,
it takes only a couple of minutes to scramble an egg. Work a hard- or
soft-boiled egg into lunch, too, by adding it to a spinach salad. Or
make an omelet or veggie frittata with two to three egg whites to every
one yolk to keep the calories low (whites have just 16 calories, while
whole eggs have 72 each). Health.com: Reconsidering the egg
Watch out for: Eggs served at restaurants.Even an egg-white omelet is
likely to be fried in butter or oil unless you ask that it be prepared
with cooking spray. And like pizza, beware of any egg dish that's smothered
in cheese. If you're craving more flavor, add some herbs or salsa.
You already know you can enjoy some mozzarella on your favorite pie
and still drop pounds. But there are other ways you can make that slice
even healthier. To hike the diet-friendly fiber, choose a whole-wheat
crust and top your pizza with veggies like peppers, artichokes, and
broccoli. "Like protein, fiber is digested slowly and helps keep
you feeling full, longer," Gluck says.
Even better? By sticking with healthful toppings like veggies and lean
protein (grilled chicken is a good choice), a medium slice will set
you back only 200 to 250 calories.
Best way to enjoy it: Choose whole-wheat varieties. You can make your
own or try a frozen one, like DiGiorno, Boboli, South Beach, or Amy's.
If you're ordering in or dining out, get a thin-crust pie (it's typically
lower in calories and fat than thicker versions); try selections available
at Pizza Hut and California Pizza Kitchen.
Watch out for: Additional oil and fat. Avoid any pie that's deep-dish
(that means the crust is cooked in oil) or loaded with sausage and pepperoni,
Gluck says. And while a bit of cheese is fine, a whole lot is not. Skip
the extra cheese.
Unlike a regular strip of crispy pork fat, Canadian bacon -- which comes
from the loin, one of the leanest parts of the pig -- is a dieter's
best friend, with a third less fat than regular bacon. If that isn't
reason enough to put Canadian bacon on your plate, a recent study from
Purdue University shows that women who eat a diet rich in lean pork
and other protein keep more lean body mass during weight loss than women
who eat a low- calorie diet with little pork and other protein sources.
An added bonus: Women who eat meals rich in protein from pork report
that they feel satisfied, in spite of the fact that they are on reduced-calorie
diets, and say they're happier overall. Health.com: Best new foods of
Best way to enjoy it: Have some anytime. "Add Canadian or turkey
bacon, another light pick, to scrambled eggs, or use some in a bacon-lettuce-and-tomato
sandwich on whole-wheat bread with reduced-fat mayo," Grotto says.
You can chop it into strips and use it for a protein boost on salad,
Watch out for: Hidden fat. Some restaurants fry Canadian bacon on the
griddle in oil.
© 2008, Camille Noe Pagán / Health