6 Foods You Should Be Eating More Of

Jenna Birch
by Jenna Birch
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6 Foods You Should Be Eating More Of

No one likes to be on high alert when it comes to calories. In a dream world, that huge slice of German chocolate cake would only be around 100 calories, and nutritionists would suggest skipping vegetables in favor of a creamy pasta dish for dinner. Sadly, we don’t live in that world, folks, which means we need to be smart about what we put on our plates.

Annoying, the challenge of making healthy choices can lead to a lot of confusion and questioning at meal time. Who hasn’t experienced the dread of wondering whether or not the bite you’re about to take is “good” or “bad” for your weight loss goal? It can cause you to look at out food options in terms of what you can’t eat. But what if you changed your mindset, and looked instead at what you can eat?

There are tons of delicious foods you should be eating more of—not less! And you might find adding more of the healthy choices to your eating plan, will help you naturally eat less of the processed, sugar-laden, carb-loaded, fatty foods you don’t need. Here, Megan Roosevelt, R.D., L.D., founder of Healthy Grocery Girl, reveals 6 nutrient-dense foods you can load up on.

Sweet Potatoes “Fiber helps us feel full and satisfied, as well as manage blood sugar levels,” says Roosevelt. Consider the vitamin and mineral benefits, including potassium and vitamin C, and you should be opting for treat-like sweet potatoes, more often. You can bake them, mash them, or serve them up as sweet potato fries, just like your classic white potato.

Avocados Avocados are brimming with benefits. “Protein, fat, and fiber are the three key nutrients that help us feel full and satisfied,” says Roosevelt. “Healthy fats in our diet also support the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.” Next time you’re tempted to use sour cream, add a quarter of an avocado to your dish instead. Whipped avocado has a similar texture, but offers more healthy nutrients.

Zucchini You can swap in zucchini as a base for many recipes—from fries to brownies. Roosevelt’s favorite switch is for pasta. “Use a julienne peeler to make noodle-like strips, and you’ve got a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate option that’s also nutritionally dense and contains fiber,” she says.

Corn Tortillas White flour causes your insulin levels to rise, which promotes fat storage. Corn on the other hand contains more fiber, so you’ll stay full after noshing on that veggie wrap or taco. “Fiber delays digestion and regulates the release of glucose from our food into our bloodstream, helping us avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes,” says Roosevelt.

Sliced Whole Fruit There’s no reason not to eat more fruit, says Roosevelt, who again points out that it’s all about fiber—and flavor. “Feeling full after meals and snacks is key for weight loss. If we’re always hungry, it’s hard to lose weight,” she says. Her suggestions: Use fruit slices in sandwiches and wraps instead of jam or jelly (try PB and apple, or almond butter and pear), and toss fruit slices into your water for a hint of flavor that will get you to drink more.

Dark Chocolate Need a sweet treat? Don’t deny yourself now, only to binge later. A one-ounce serving of dark chocolate is about 150 calories, and it contains flavanoids that have been shown to improve circulation and heart health, says Roosevelt.

Which of these foods play a starring role in your diet? Tell us in the comments!

About the Author

Jenna Birch
Jenna Birch

Jenna Birch is a health and lifestyle writer. She has written for many web and print publications, including Marie Claire, Runner’s World, mom.me and WomansDay.com. As a nutrition and fitness junkie, she’s a lifelong athlete, major college sports fan and developing yogi—but still can’t resist the allure of an occasional chocolate lava cake. (Everything in moderation, right?) For more, visit her at jennabirch.com or follow her on Twitter.  

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40 responses to “6 Foods You Should Be Eating More Of”

  1. Avatar Ali says:

    Cadbury Bournville dark chocolate

  2. Avatar Mary says:

    Love avocados. I add it to smoothies and salads and as dressings

  3. Avatar Megan says:

    I am like the Subway commercial with the girls naming their children avocado and such…I put avocado on anything it remotely makes sense on! 🙂

  4. Avatar Charlene Black says:

    Love the avocado especially when I make a tuna fish sandwich and green apples (granny smith).

  5. Avatar Jess says:

    Corn anything should be OUT…..despite the fiber content, it’s been shown to be high glycemic, not to mention GMO’d to the hilt.

  6. Avatar Helen says:

    I eat dark chocolate, fruit and sweet potatoes. I can’t STAND avocados (bork), and you can’t get corn tortillas here, at least not that I have seen.

  7. Avatar Stacey says:

    I have been using zucchini for “zoodles” with marinara sauce, as a replacement for lasagne noodles in “faux-agne”, and to bulk up sauces. It’s delicious and filling, with nutrients and it’s low calorie. Win, win, and WIN!

  8. Avatar tribbs says:

    Avocados and Sweet Potatoes have been added to my meals as of June 1st
    while I’m in my first whole30 months. they are delish! and feeling no
    guilt eating them 🙂

  9. Avatar San says:

    I agree with Jess

  10. Avatar San says:

    watch the fruit intake too — fruit has sugar — sugar increases your insulin

  11. Avatar arkiebell says:

    The GMO is true but I always opt for corn if I have to eat out and do not find it triggers my hunger (which is probably due to the fiber). For Chocolate I use 100% Raw Balinese Cacao Powder. I tsp. is a cup of hot water makes a very healthy and satisfying drink for 14.2 Calories. It can be had a health food stores. I purchase mine through the Azure Coop and it is less than half the price at health food stores.

  12. Avatar tux says:

    i eat everything except the corn tortillas regularly. dark chocolate 1 or 2 times a week – all other items daily. grilled zucchini rocks!!

  13. Avatar Robert Howard says:

    Love them all but corn tortillas are definitely in moderation!

  14. Avatar sarah says:

    Sweet potato is so easy, good, and versatile. I love having it baked in the skin, or making fries. Its a “perfect partner” has lots of C and finer 🙂

  15. Avatar Cathy Clark - Schramer says:

    We use whole grain wraps

  16. Avatar myniyer says:

    How ironic this post is! I eat a lot of fruit in the summer, and without exception, MFP scolds me on a daily basis for exceeding my recommended allowance of sugar – as if I were drinking a Coke, instead of enjoying a couple of fresh peaches. When are you guys going to start distinguishing between naturally occurring sugars and added sugar?

  17. Avatar Ben says:

    Avocado – yes. I usually have a half a day, can get kinda expensive though. A drizzle of avocado oil over your salad etc. is another option to get your intake of healthy fats.

    Sweet potato – yes, but while it’s far more nutrient dense than regular spuds, it has about the same proportion of starchy carbs. Definitely eat in moderation. That said, sweet potato fries are yum, but try swede fries (or a mix of the two) to lower the carb load.

    Zucchini – yep, great as a noodle replacement in pastas and stirfries. Half the time you can’t even notice the difference. About the easy vegetable to grow in your own garden too. Cauliflower deserves a mention here too, works great as a rice substitute.

    Corn tortillas – Er, no. If you want to eat grains (and aren’t adversely affected by them) then surely spelt bread would be a better, more digestible option. That said, I’d suggest a big plate of leafy greens would be far more beneficial to the average person in terms of fibre and other essential nutrients.

  18. Avatar Ben says:

    Fruit – yes, but in small amounts. Fructose is still fructose. Favour berries over apples, orange and banana…. this kills me because I love bananas and used to eat a couple of day… boy, how the weight came off when I stopped doing so!

    Dark chocolate – yes, but go as dark as you can stomach. You want a chocolate that’s lower in carbs and sugar and higher in fat. Lindt 90% Supreme is my preferred at the moment, 6% and 16% carb, though I’m looking to make my own to reduce that further. Still got to keep servings to a couple of squares a day though.

  19. Avocados are so delicious and are a great addition to smoothies. Love them!

  20. Avatar mizuniverse says:

    I love your blogs and great recipes thank you. Have to agree with the whole corn thing though.

  21. I agree with all but the corn tortilla. There’s not enough nutritional value in it. It is a grain and I don’t eat grains anymore because of “Wheat Belly” and “Brain Grain”. If you read those books, you wouldn’t either.

  22. Avatar Ashley says:

    Well I eat plenty of dark chocolate, but other than that…

  23. Avatar 3lionhearts says:

    What no Fish ?? Apart from sumo wrestlers you never see a fat jap !!

  24. Avatar Cathy says:

    It seems to me that avocados or almonds or both have significantly lowered my Cholesterol from 249 to 175 in about three years. I have lost 8 pounds, but the only real change has been the avocados and almonds. I am so excited. I did not want to go on medication.

  25. Avatar Robert Rufa says:

    All but the chocolate, every day. Like zucchini with homemade low-salt
    salsa, a simple sweet tater casserole sweetened with stevia is almost like dessert. Fruit ends every meal. Avocado mashed with lime juice, cumin, cilantro, garlic, and a little hot sauce with diced cukes and tomatoes. Low-salt tortilla chips w/ salsa for a snack.

  26. Avatar Centaurita says:

    I make zucchini as often as DH will tolerate. Wash, slice and put in a skillet with small amount of butter or oil. Squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon over it, salt and pepper, and saute. Yumm!
    I could eat avocado at every meal, but they do have a lot of fat and calories.
    I’ve been putting peanut butter on apples since my kids were little. Sometimes I add raisins on top.
    Trying to keep fresh cut up veggies in the fridge for snacks and lunch. Right now I have a bunch left from a weekend cookout. Peppers, cucumber, carrots, celery, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, radishes….Mmmm
    Gonna go make some fresh salsa now for those corn chips 🙂

  27. Avatar Kate says:

    I eat a ridiculous amount of fruit, so I’m totally vouching for that one.

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