Allow me to cut to the chase: Going on a heart-healthy diet isn’t nearly as grim as you probably think it will be. Think it’s all chicken breasts and broccoli? Think again. According to leading nutritionists and the latest studies, you can eat chocolate, pasta, and wash it all down with some wine. (That is, of course, if you’re springing for the healthy options of all these so-called “bad” foods. More on that later.) What follows is a comprehensive compendium of all the mouthwatering cuisine—whether it’s a new dietary addition or a simple swap for an existing staple—you should eat to build a ticker as strong as steel. And for more ways to keep your heart safe, learn the 30 Best Ways to Lower Your Heart Attack Risk.
This antioxidant-rich, traditional Chinese tea not only helps keep cholesterol levels in check and aids digestion, it can also help rev up your metabolism. Like green tea, oolong is packed with catechins, which boost weight loss efforts by improving the body’s ability to metabolize fat. A study in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine found that participants who regularly sipped oolong tea lost six pounds over the course of six weeks.
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The 36-year-old model's body is so incredible, she's logged camera time for Victoria's Secret and Sport's Illustrated Swim. And her tip for keeping her diet in check is kind of genius: She keeps her bod on display at all times. "Eating smart is all about having an awareness of your body," she explained to Women's Health in 2012. "The most obvious way to do that is by seeing it. So when you're trying to lose weight, spend more time wearing less. I don't think I could eat a plate of nachos naked—could you?" The Best Exercise to Lose Weight After 40 Years of Age
This fiber-filled smoothie star is packed with anemia-fighting folate and vitamin C to help your immune system combat winter colds with minimal effort. Good thing there are countless ways to reap the benefits of this leafy green besides blending it. Try cooking up a kale quiche or scramble. You can also coat the veggie with olive oil and salt before popping it into the oven if you’re craving a crunchy, and equally as healthy, snack. How I Lost 35 Pounds in 70 Days
One study found that premenopausal women who ate 30 percent of their calories from protein (half of which was from dairy foods) for 16 weeks lost more fat and gained more muscle than those who ate a lower protein diet. That result continues with age, as other studies have found that people who eat more protein lose less muscle as they get older. That’s key to preventing your metabolism from slowing down. It’s all about maintaining your muscle mass and even building more muscle with resistance exercise and getting enough protein.
It is no secret that celebrities can influence fashion and beauty trends, but their influence extends to diets, too. The moment a Hollywood A-lister utters anything about their eating habits, people rush to Google—and try that style of eating themselves. Alas, not all celebrity diets are recommended or healthful. See the five best and five worst weight loss plans of the rich and famous.
You might want to think twice before ditching dairy if you’re trying to lose weight—despite what your Paleo-preaching CrossFit friends tell you. Cheese is a satisfying, portable, and inexpensive food that’s packed with calcium, vitamin D, and protein. “Calcium can also promote weight loss because it helps maintain muscle mass, which boosts and helps maintain metabolism, helping you burn calories more efficiently throughout the day,” says Tanya Zuckerbrot, RD, author of The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories & Fat Disappear—With Fiber! That doesn’t mean you can help yourself to a cheese-drenched casserole, though. Work cheese into fiber-rich snacks to make them more satiating.