“I eat nuts daily—all types but especially almonds,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It. “They help me feel full and they are heart healthy, as studies have shown that almonds might lower cholesterol levels. They also help keep blood sugar levels from spiking (because of the healthy fat within), they have a satisfying crunch, and most of all they are decadently delicious. Although many of us have been fat phobic for years, it’s important to have healthy fats in our diet to help promote healthy skin as we age along with a sense of well-being.” Enjoy almonds as a snack, use them as an ingredient in energy bites, or add as a topping to oatmeal.
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“I eat a piece of dark chocolate every day,” says Emily Rubin, RD, a clinical dietitian at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. “Who doesn’t love chocolate? It satisfies my sweets craving. It is low in sugar, offers fiber, contains antioxidants, and may even help prevent heart disease.” Rubin suggests looking for chocolate with at least an 86 percent cocoa content. Nosh on a small square of dark chocolate, or use it as an ingredient in oat bites, or make your own almond butter cups. Read on for 12 healthy desserts that can actually help you lose weight.
“I know many people cut bread out of their diets as they age, but the carbs in bread help power me through my high level of physical activity, says Rosenbloom. “Bread also provides dietary fiber, B vitamins, and iron. I like getting vitamins and minerals from foods instead of supplements. I enjoy both whole grains and enriched grains for variety.”
But watch out for enriched refined flour products. “Refined wheat flours have been stripped of their slow-digesting fiber and nutrients, which means the body can break down these foods very quickly,” says Christopher Hollingsworth, MD, an endovascular surgeon at NYC Surgical Associates. The faster these carbs break down, the quicker our blood sugar levels rise. Rising blood sugar levels cause a spike in insulin, Dr. Hollingworth explains, which leads to inflammation. And inflammation may be the root of all disease. Learn about the 12 foods that make inflammation worse.