The Belly Off! Diet

April 25, 2009 6:50:27 AM PDT
In accomplishing your goal of losing belly fat, it's about exercising smart, but it's also about eating what are called "super foods." Jeff Csatari, author of "The Belly Off! Diet," joined us with tips. "The 6 Best Foods You're Not Eating, But Should Be" (p. 195)

There are many super foods that you've never heard of, but could easily add to a diet. Here are six foods that will add many health benefits to your diet and might just become a mealtime staple.

1. Kimchi- This spicy pickled cabbage, eaten at almost every meal in Korea is packed with vitamins and immune-system-boosting phytochemicals. Its main ingredient, fermented cabbage, contains lactic acid, which helps with digestion and may weaken infections. Several years ago, kimchi made big news when Korean researchers found chickens infected with the avian flu recovered more quickly after being fed an extract of kimchi. More recently, a study a the University of New Mexico suggested that eating cabbage might help ward of breast cancer. Kimchi is low in calories and rich in dietary fiber.

2. Pearled Barley- The chewy, nutty, hulled grain used in soup and breads and as a substitute for rice is quickly becoming a favorite of people trying to lose weight. It's made up of 43 percent slow-digesting carbohydrates and 12 percent of a fiber known as "resistant starch" because it goes through the small intestine without being digested. Last year, a Swedish study showed that people who ate barley bread as part of their dinner felt much less hungry than those who munched on plain white bread-and the hunger-quenching effected lasted more than 10 hours.

3. Pickled Herring- Keep a jar of pickled herring chunks in your refrigerator for a quick omega-3 lunch with crackers. It's an easy way to get more fish into your weekly diet without the hassle of cooking fresh fish. Herring, essentially a larger sardine, is still small enough to be low in contaminants. And it's a good source of EPA and DHA as well as calcium.

4. Shirataki Noodles-These noodles made from the root of an Asian yam consist of a no-calorie soluble fiber, so they are a healthier option than egg noodles or pastas high in fast-digesting carbohydrates. Studies show that the fiber called gulcomannan, helps lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and may even help you lose body weight. Researchers say that just 1 gram of this fiber can significantly reduce the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream after you eat a high-carbohydrate meal. Because they have little flavor of their own, shirataki noodles take on the flavor of the sauces and herbs from the dishes to which they are added. Try them in vegetable salads, soups, and stir-fry dishes.

5. Paddlefish Caviar- When you're trying to get more omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, expanding your repertoire of egg dishes can help you. We're talking fish eggs as well as chicken eggs. Caviar contains three times as many omega-3s as salmon does. Spooning 2 teaspoons of paddlefish caviar into your omelet just before folding it over will give you a tasty morning boost of fish oil. And if you use omega-3 eggs from chickens given feed rich in omega-3s, you'll get a double shot.

6. Greek Yogurt- Called yiaourti in Greece. This is a thicker, creamier yogurt because the liquid (whey) has been strained out. It contains probiotic cultures, has twice the protein of regular yogurt, fewer carbohydrates and less lactose.