These five foods are often shunned by dieters, but avocado, banana, flageolet beans, chickpeas and walnuts are nutritious foods that can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet, even by those trying to lose weight. In fact, these foods can be great choices for dieters looking to fill up with healthy options.
Avocado doesn't contain as many calories as dieters often think, with 160 calories per 100 grams, equivalent to around one half of a fruit. Avocado addicts now even use the fruit in cakes and ice creams as a substitute for butter or milk. As well as its creamy texture and delicious flavour, avocado has a low glycemic index. In other words, it doesn't send insulin levels sky-rocketing, promoting the storage of fat. As well as being packed with vitamins E and K, avocado contains healthy fat that reduces LDL cholesterol.
With 89 calories per 100 grams, banana is the ideal substitute for sugary desserts or afternoon snacks like cakes or biscuits. Rich in potassium, magnesium and manganese, banana has plenty of health benefits, especially for promoting digestion and helping you feel full. Look for fruits that aren't too ripe to keep the glycemic index low. The fruit is sweeter when eaten ripe and in purées.
Often associated with rich, hearty dishes, chickpeas are often shunned by dieters. They are, in fact, a good source of protein with a very low glycemic index, since they are rich in fibre. Still, they can be problematic for people with sensitive digestive systems.
Like lentils and chickpeas, flageolet beans are a type of legume that helps reduce the absorption of sugar and fat. They are also hunger-busting antioxidants that favour the elimination of toxins. They have a low calorie content, with 84 calories per 100 grams. However, they aren't recommended for those with irritable bowel syndrome, as they can lead to bloating and gas.
Walnuts have excellent health benefits, so long as you don't go overboard with quantities (460 calories per 100g). Rich in healthy fats (omega-3), they protect the heart and are a source of antioxidants and fibre. They also contain melatonin, phytosterols and arginine, all of which are essential to good health. Several studies have shown that walnuts could help with weight loss while helping reduce the desire to snack. Try sprinkling a few walnuts on salads, muesli or cereal.