Perhaps it’s what you’re NOT eating that’s making you fat.
Eating healthy isn’t all about cutting things out of your diet, eating low-fat, low-carb, low-sodium, etc.
Your body needs a variety of foods so it can perform all its functions – including regulating fat absorption. Eating a wide variety of foods helps your body to use what it needs and discard what it doesn’t need.
The right food combinations can help your digestive system absorb vitamins, minerals, good fat, and nutrients, and turn waste into bulk to move it on out.
You probably already know that having some olive oil or avocado with your salads and veggies helps your body to absorb all of the good stuff the other ingredients, but did you know that certain foods can help your body absorb less fat?
Your body knows it doesn’t need a ton of fat. We’ve got central heating if we need it, and food is always available, so we don’t really need extra insulation or large energy/fat stores like our caveman cousins did back in the day.
For those of you scanning to find the part where I get to the foods you can eat to help reduce fat absorption, I’m getting there; however, first I have to say that none of this gives you a license to go eat a ton of crap. Nothing is an easy fix-all like that, so don’t go crazy. Also, supplements won’t have the same effect as eating the right foods. In general, avoid taking pills and go straight to the source to achieve optimal health.
Without further ado, here’s a list of foods that have been shown to lower fat absorption.
- Calcium: Men’s Health reports that “dieters with the highest calcium intake from dairy foods lost 60% more weight than those with the lowest.” It’s not all about milk and cheese either; canned beans, peas and fish, yogurt, most dark greens, almonds and oranges have a high amount of calcium, too. Maybe have a glass of skim milk with your steak instead of wine… maybe.
- Apples: ShapeFit.com reports that the pectin in apples prevents your body from absorbing large amounts of fat. In addition, apples are high in fiber which helps fill you up and move waste out of your body.
- Soy: ShapeFit.com also lists soy as a fat absorption blocker because of lecithin, a nutrient that breaks down fat stores. Throw some soy nuts on your salad for a little added crunch, or use soy protein powder or milk in your smoothies.
- Sea kelp / Seaweed: Sea kelp has a natural, soluble fiber called alginate that helps halt digestion of fat. Try some seaweed salad next time you’re out for sushi.
- Unrefined whole grains: The fiber helps you excrete more fat, rather than storing or absorbing it.
The common denominator in most of these foods is fiber. Get your daily fiber intake, and get it naturally.
Also, even if you don’t believe in “fat blockers,” all of these are really healthy options for many other reasons, so there’s no reason not to give them a shot.
I like a little nightcap of 1/2 skim milk and 1/2 vanilla soy milk right before bedtime. Who knew a simple end of day indulgence could make a difference? I would never fully count on these foods to do all the work for me, but it can’t hurt to work them in a little more.