Best Nutrition Tips for Combating Obesity: Fruits, Veg, and More

Obesity in the US continues to rise. Over 41.9% of American adults currently have the condition—nearly 140 million people. Unfortunately, this can bring about more severe health impacts compared to individuals who are simply overweight. Though both issues are determined by body mass index (BMI) and sit just a few numbers away from each other on the scale regarding combating Obesity—an overweight BMI is around 25 to 29.9, while an obese one is 30 or higher—there’s a significant difference between overweight and obese individuals.

That’s because obesity is officially considered to be a chronic disease. Unlike people who are overweight and are more likely to get diagnosed with diabetes and heart conditions, obese individuals are also at risk of developing liver, gallbladder, and bone conditions, as well as mental health issues and several types of cancer. It’s thus highly recommended that they manage their weight through efforts like exercising more, taking weight loss medications—and, in severe cases, undergoing bariatric surgery.

Regardless of the strategies they use, though, people with obesity need one crucial foundation for success: a nutritious and balanced diet. If you’re looking to combat the condition for better long-term health, try these nutrition tips to get started.

Prioritize fiber

Fiber-rich foods like leafy greens and whole grains work well for healthy weight management because they can naturally reduce your appetite. The Harvard Health Blog finds that simply consuming 30 grams of foods like oatmeal and salads daily can help you feel full faster, meaning you’ll eat less without necessarily having to restrict yourself using a full-blown diet. Researchers recently discovered an added benefit: since fiber boosts your overall gut health, it can lower your chances of developing obesity-related conditions—including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer—as you manage your weight.

Combating Obesity

Eat the rainbow

Fruits and vegetables can effectively tackle obesity because they’re low in calories and are extremely nutrient-dense—containing not just fiber, but also Vitamins A, C, and K, iron, potassium, magnesium, and more. And since there’s so much produce to choose from, literally eating the rainbow means you can eat as many of your favorite fruits and veg as you want without consuming too many calories. On top of that, their nutrients will help regulate your metabolism, blood pressure, and insulin levels so you can burn more calories—especially if you supplement the so-called “rainbow diet” with regular exercise. That said, feel free to top up on everything from tomatoes, carrots, and peaches to spinach, blueberries, and cauliflower.

Be selective with your protein

Protein is undeniably crucial for weight loss: it regulates your hunger hormones, boosts your metabolism, and even builds your muscles so you can work out more effectively. However, this nutrient also has “good” and “bad” kinds. Red meat, for example, contains saturated fats that can limit blood circulation, increase cholesterol levels, and ultimately worsen obesity-related comorbidities like heart disease. Instead, be selective and eat good protein. Choose lean meats from chicken and turkey breast or fish like salmon. There are also plenty of plant-based sources you can take advantage of, including seeds and beans. We’ve even noted that nuts can be great for weight loss, with almonds being especially high in protein.

Avoid processed foods

Studies find that pastries, cured meats, and other processed foods are the leading cause of obesity. That’s because they contain empty calories. Since they’re rich in energy but don’t contain a lot of nutrients, they’re immediately stored as fat in the body. Limiting how much-refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and saturated fats you consume can thus aid your weight loss efforts. Again, complete restriction isn’t needed. You can always eat cake on special occasions like your birthday—and if you want to indulge in your guilty pleasures, you can always try healthier alternatives like chocolate oatmeal cookies and kale chips. Simply baking your bread or making pasta sauces at home can also limit the amount of processed foods you eat.

As obesity rates continue to rise in the US, combating this chronic condition is more important than ever. Try these nutrition tips to boost your weight management efforts and achieve better long-term health.

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