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Fat Fighting Foods for Forty-Somethings

Many Peppers

Let’s face it, when you hit forty, forty hits back! Losing weight once you “approach maturity” is known to be tougher to do. So you need some help. (Okay, you young whippersnappers don’t need help. Yet. Just remember for later.)

A recent report in Prevention Magazine points out some foods that can help you hold the line and avoid “waisting away.” (It’s early; mea culpa.) These magic foods are:

  • Water with lemon
  • High-fiber Granola bars
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Walnuts
  • Hot Sauce
  • Cinnamon
  • Salmon

Water has long been advocated as a weight loss aid. The addition of citrus apparently reduces cravings for sweet drinks. (And yes, sweet-tasting diet drinks are linked to weight gains; it’s not the sugar, it’s the cravings they induce.) Granola and flaxseed are also “healthy,” although most of us aren’t familiar with flaxseed. Walnuts are hard to crack into, but their meat is especially healthy.

Before talking about hot sauce, let’s consider the last two items. Cinnamon? Seems it can help with a lot of health challenges. The only thing is: Most “cinnamon” sold here is cassia, or Chinese cinnamon, which appears to deliver fewer benefits. The good stuff, Korintje, is more expensive but tastes and works better. (And it’s apparently an aphrodisiac.)

Salmon? Of course, salmon. It’s been on the “good food” list for a long time. If you’re like me, though, you don’t prefer the flavor. Other fish, such as mahi mahi or fresh tuna, will also deliver many benefits; just not maybe the same ones, in the same amount. So go eat fish!

And while you’re at it, eat it with plenty of hot sauce. That’s right, hot sauce is now generally accepted as good for your health. It also helps you lose weight and keep it off. The Prevention article says,

Forget bland condiments. If you want to burn fat, spice things up. In a study of 36 men and women, Australian researchers found that following a spicy meal, levels of insulin – the hormone that triggers body fat storage – were lowered by as much as 32 percent. One theory: Capsaicin, the chemical that gives chiles their fire, may improve the body’s ability to clear insulin from the bloodstream after you eat, so you’re more likely to burn fat following a meal spiked with chile peppers than after one that isn’t packing heat.

Sounds good enough for me! And since the health benefits come from capsaicin, you don’t need hot sauce to get them. Spicy peppers, salsa, chutneys, curries and many other preparations deliver capsaicin.

So get out there and enjoy zesty foods! Remember, you’ll be fighting diabetes as well as fat…

Enjoy the (Healthy) Heat!

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