If you want to lose fat, your best bet is to stick to whole foods, not processed foods.
But what about the other ingredients in those processed foods that are known to raise cholesterol and insulin levels?
Well, they’re not good for you either, according to a new study.
“We were looking at what foods were actually good for our weight loss goals and what were the worst, most dangerous ones,” says Dr. Christopher Bremner, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
“The food we used for the study is a whole grain that’s very high in fiber and other nutrients.
It’s really high in nutrients, including the antioxidants and other things that help prevent oxidative stress, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.”
Researchers used a variety of studies to come up with a list of foods and supplements that might work best for weight loss.
In some, the researchers used lab tests to determine which foods were “good” and which were “bad.”
For the study, they looked at the nutritional profile of the foods and then looked at how they affected the blood sugar and insulin responses of the participants.
The results were pretty clear: “The best [food] in the study was whole grains, whole foods with moderate amounts of protein, moderate amounts and no fat,” says Bremninger.
“That was the most effective.”
You don’t have to limit your daily intake of refined carbohydrates and fat.
The American Heart Association recommends that you consume about 150 milligrams of carbohydrate per day.
For a diet with no added sugars, Bremners recommends a daily intake from 150 to 300 grams.
If you’re trying to get your body to burn fat, however, a daily dose of protein or low-fat milk might be a better option.
Other foods that can help you lose weight include low-carbohydrate foods like rice, brown rice, beans, nuts, and leafy greens, according the Mayo Clinic.
They also contain some protein, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
“It’s a really important nutrient for maintaining health, and these foods can be a source of protein and other essential nutrients that are very important for your weight loss efforts,” says Michael Lippmann, a nutritionist at Northwestern Medicine.
Bremner is currently working on a new article about this study that explores the effects of dietary factors on weight loss in more detail.
He says the current study is the first to test whether consuming a particular nutrient, like fiber, is a better way to lose a certain amount of weight.
“In general, we do not recommend eating certain foods to lose muscle mass,” he says.
“If we eat these foods to replace muscle mass, that’s going to increase the amount of fat you are storing in your fat cells.”
Read more about weight loss and eating healthfully at Vice News.