By Shaun Chavis
You know how to eat healthy, but do you know how to blast fat while you're doing it? We've used emerging science about the foods that fight fat-ingredients with resistant starch, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), fiber, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and more-to create great-tasting combos that help flatten your belly...and trim the rest of your body, too!
Here's a healthier version of the classic Italian Café Affogato. Low-fat frozen yogurt gives you conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a type of unsaturated fat in meat and dairy products that helps you lose abdominal fat. Pour on some coffee; it's got a tummy-flattening compound called mannooligosaccharides. And top it with grated dark chocolate for a treat that's good for your heart (and soul).
Health.com: America's healthiest ice cream and yogurts
Top your cereal with cherries
The tart cherries have anthocyanins (an antioxidant in red, blue, and purple fruits and veggies) to help you lose belly flab, and the puffed-wheat cereal contains ab-fat-reducing resistant starch. Sprinkle on ground flaxseed, too, for some tummy-whittling omega-3 fatty acids.
Turkey, a good source of CLA, is a tasty filling for this simple sandwich. Top it with a little onion jam. (Onions contain an antioxidant called quercetin, which may keep your body from storing fat.) And serve it up on a toasted whole-grain bun to add some fiber.
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This decadent appetizer is also a fat-blaster. The combo of omega-3s (salmon) and CLA (cream cheese) fights belly fat and builds lean muscle. Layer the smoked salmon and a smear of cream cheese on a slice of filling (thanks to lots of fiber) pumpernickel bread.
Make a tasty pasta with some black olive tapenade-it's got intense flavor, so you won't need a lot, and the anthocyanins in dark olives will help slenderize your tummy. Toss with linguine for resistant starch, and throw in a few toasted pine nuts for crunch.
To create this tasty dip, purée a can of white beans (loaded with fiber and resistant starch), with jarred artichokes (more fiber) and olive oil (to add some fat-fighting monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs). Serve with crudités.
Health.com: Dips to pick (and skip!)
Green tea is full of catechins, which will boost your workouts by helping your body burn more ab fat. Blend the tea with a banana for fiber and some blueberries for anthocyanins.
Pair wine with some red grapes for anthocyanins, and aged goat cheese for a dose of dairy. Why wine? Researchers say people who drink a little wine every day have the smallest bellies, even when compared with those who don't drink at all.
The resistant starch in a small baked potato and the MUFAs in a teaspoon of olive oil make this a low-guilt way to enjoy a spud. Add some tangy crumbled feta, too: Research shows that dairy products can help flatten your tummy.
Health.com: Spice up your spuds
Spritz your fat-free or air-popped fiber-rich popcorn with a little olive oil spray (or use a mister), then shake on some crushed red pepper-the capsaicin in the pepper helps you burn fat.
For a quickie dessert, dress a bowl of raspberries, blackberries, blueberries-all good sources of anthocyanins-with a dollop of crème fraîche for CLA and a shortbread cookie on the side for some resistant starch. (To spread the crunch, crumble your cookie over the berries.)
Health.com: 7 foods that fight fat
Here's a healthy sweet treat: Cut a fiber-rich pear in half and roast it in a 350° oven for 30 minutes; drizzle on your favorite dessert wine (like Sauternes) for a belly-flattening boost, and top it with some chopped toasted hazelnuts.
Top whole-wheat pita wedges with spinach; both are sources of fiber. And add a dollop of hummus for a two-for-one punch: the chickpeas are full of fiber, and the tahini is loaded with MUFAs.
Slimming sushi roll
Enjoy this roll to get rid of the one around your waist-it's a belly-flattening trifecta. Chilled rice is high in resistant starch, and the omega-3s in eel and MUFAs in avocado keep fat from settling in your midsection.
Health.com: What can you make with brown rice?
Toss cooked shrimp (omega-3s) with segments from 1 grapefruit (fiber) and a bit of your favorite bottled Asian dressing-the oil adds MUFAs. Jazz up this tasty entrée with avocado (if you have some) for more MUFAs.
By Shaun Chavis