Secrets of the Slim: 7 Foods You Should Eat Right Now

Add avocado to your lunch for a healthy boost!Dieting doesn't have to mean a boiled chicken breast on undressed iceberg lettuce-really! Some of the most mouthwatering foods around can help you shed pounds and improve your health. Even better? You can fill your shopping cart with these tasty items and never break the bank. Here are 7 treats dietitians love-not only because these picks offer amazing (and proven) health benefits but also because they taste great.

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1. Avocados: This fruit is a great source of slowly digested monounsaturated fat, which releases hormones that help you feel fuller longer. That might be why researchers found that people on reduced-calorie diets that included avocados were able to lose as much weight as those who reduced-calorie diets were avocado-free.
Eat them: Diced on baked potatoes.

2. Olive oil: It's filled with potent antioxidants that naturally nip inflammation, the cellular damage that contributes to the development of chronic disease. The condiment also is brimming with monounsaturated fat, which helps target belly flab.
Eat it: Mixed with vinegar, salt and pepper for a classic salad dressing.

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3. Greek yogurt: Not many foods can top this one when it comes to energy-boosting, diet-friendly protein. A 7-ounce serving of this tangy treat delivers about 20 grams of protein. (That's on par with half a chicken breast.)
Eat it: Drizzled with honey or used as a replacement for mayonnaise in tuna salad.

4. Lean ground beef: Hamburger gets a bad rap, but if you choose a pack that's 85 to 95 percent lean, it can help you shed pounds. How? Its protein naturally preserves muscle mass, experts say, and the more muscle you have, the more efficiently your body burns calories. Australian researchers recently found that women who ate lean red meat six times per week lost about 25 percent more weight than those who skimped on it.
Eat it: In spaghetti sauce.

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5. Oatmeal: Whether you choose instant or old-fashioned, oats have one of the highest satiety rankings of any breakfast option. This whole-grain food is digested more slowly than most other carbohydrates, keeping blood sugar even and staving off that "I'm so hungry I could eat the fridge" feeling. One cup contains 8 grams of fiber, about a third of your daily needs.
Eat it: Cooked and topped with fruit or added raw to meat-loaf mix.

6. Pomegranates: The seeds and red pulp are loaded with folic acid and disease-fighting antioxidants. One large pomegranate has only about 235 calories, making it a good-for-you snack.
Eat them: Alone, or sprinkle the seeds on a salad for a crunchy kick.

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7. Popcorn: People who eat popcorn consume 250 percent more hunger-curbing whole grains than people who don't snack on it, suggest recent data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. One caveat: Skip move theater popcorn, which can pack up to 300 calories per cup thanks to the butter topping and the palm oil it's cooked in. Make your own air-popped corn instead (a cup is just 30 calories).
Eat it: Sprinkled with cinnamon for a sweet treat or with chili powder for a spicy one.

What are your dieting secrets?

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