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            Best Foods to Eat to Lose Weight

            Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

            Look for Super Foods When Planning Your Diet Menus, Snacks

            Almost all foods in their natural state are super foods; the manner in which they are cooked greatly influences the calorie content as well as the amount of fat contained therein. Cooking natural foods rarely adds nutritional values.

            All natural foods are housed within the American Food Pyramid into categories labeled as Food Groups.

            Let's review each food group and see some of the best choices within them for your weight loss plan. We'll start with the group that creates the base for the Food Pyramid and work our way to the top of the triangle.

            While protein and many foods from the dairy group appear to be the central stars of advertisements, keep in mind that foods from these two groups require the smallest number of daily servings.

            Grains, Vegetables and Fruits are king and queens in Pyramid ranking and more foods from these groups is required by the body for optimum health than from the dairy and protein groups.

            Food Groups, Recommended Serving Sizes, Best Food Choices for Losing Weight

            Grain Group, 6-11 Servings Recommended Daily

            Choosing whole grains is a very wise choice.

            Topping our list of foods is multi-grain bread. It's rich in dietary fiber and those carbohydrates will keep energy levels in check. The last thing you need to be while dieting is weak.

            Corn tortillas rock. They are low in caloric values and have other nice nutritional notes your body needs while losing the fat.

            Other grains we recommend: barley, rice (brown offers more nutritional values), whole wheat pasta, oats and other whole grain cereals.

            Vegetable Group, 3-5 Servings Recommended Daily

            Like most fruits, vegetables are rich in dietary fiber and best eaten in their raw state (when applicable).

            Topping our list - spinach. It's lean, green and mean when it comes to nutritional values.

            Both white and sweet potatoes; they are a rich source for potassium needs.

            Other vegetables we recommend include: broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots for beta carotene, garlic, onion, cabbage of any variety and winter squash.

            Fruit Group, 2-4 Servings Recommended Daily

            Berries make an excellent choice for dieters. They are rich sources of antioxidants that support health. The blackberry is an excellent source of dietary fiber.

            Bananas which are rich in potassium and the B-vitamins. Both bananas and berries of any variety make a good addition to that morning bowl of cereal.

            Other fruits that top our list include: apples, all varieties of melon, grapefruits and oranges which are rich in citrus. And if all that dieting contributes to an upset tummy, pears can soothe the savage beast within.

            Protein Group, 2-3 Servings Recommended Daily

            Our top choice isn't lean meats as they pack negative cholesterol milligrams - it's beans and legumes. Look for dried peas, beans and other legumes when shopping at the market. All provide impressive protein benefits along with dietary fiber and can assist in keeping you feeling fuller for longer amounts of time than animal proteins.

            Our second choice is the incredible egg. A boiled egg for snack time will curb your hunger until meal time arrives.

            Nuts and seeds are next on our list; do limit amounts as too many can be too high in caloric values for your weight loss plan.

            Lean animal proteins such as chicken and turkey. Go light on the red meat.

            Dairy Group, 2-3 Servings Recommended Daily

            Opt for the reduced fat varieties of dairy foods and you'll also get a boost in calcium values. Our top picks include: milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt.

            Cheese also makes our list - but be sure that it is in reduced fat form and that it contains minimal sodium content. The extra thin slices work best for dieters. Low fat string cheese is another good choice - but don't give to tots as it poses a significant choking hazard.

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