Top 10 Healthy Foods

Choose healthy foods. Practice calorie control. When it comes to weight management and diet, these two principles make all the difference when you step on the scale. So what counts as healthy food?

It's a no-brainer that gluttonous amounts of foods like sugar sweetened beverages, desserts, and fried foods are out. But if you build your meals based on healthier foods, are some better than others for weight management? Based on surveys from health professionals in North American and Western Europe, 10 foods top the list as the best options for weight control.

1. Apples

They're a good source of antioxidants that help prevent cell damage, control cholesterol, prevent heart disease, and lower the risk of stroke. Eat a fresh apple or try the MagicKitchen.com meal Chicken and Apple Curry with Jasmine Rice & Broccoli

2. Almonds

Almonds are a good source of fiber, protein, healthy fat, and other nutrients that help control hunger, improve heart health, and support brain function. Eat a handful as a snack or add slivered almonds to a salad or cereal.

3. Broccoli

This leafy-green vegetable may not be a favorite for kids, but it's a nutrient dense cruciferous vegetable packed with fiber, calcium, folate, vitamin C, and other nutrients. Research shows eating broccoli can help prevent heart disease, prevent or control diabetes, and lower the risk for certain types of cancer. Try the MagicKitchen.com meal Meatballs with Penne Pasta & Broccoli

4. Blueberries

Many health professionals consider blueberries a superfood. That's because the tiny, dark-colored berries are packed with antioxidants that help prevent obesity, lower blood pressure, and may even prevent age-related memory loss. Add blueberries to yogurt or cereal. Grab a handful as a snack. Or make a healthy muffin recipe that includes blueberries.

5. Oily Fish

Oily fish like salmon, trout, and sardines contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for brain health, help control prostate cancer, and reduce inflammation associated with conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia. Try the MagicKitchen.com meal Salmon Caponata with Orzo & Spinach

6. Leafy-green vegetables

Eat more leafy-green vegetables like spinach, kale, cabbage, and collard greens. These vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals that help control hunger and weight gain, and reduce this risk of developing diabetes. Try the MagicKitchen.com meal Three Cheese Ravioli & Spinach Alfredo

7. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes aren't just for the Thanksgiving meal. In fact, sweet potatoes are healthier than white potatoes because they're a complex carbohydrate, which means it takes longer to digest and doesn't cause a rapid spike in blood sugar, often linked to weight gain. Try the MagicKitchen.com meal Pepper Beef Patty with Brown Gravy that comes with sweet potato casserole and mixed greens.

8. Wheat germ

Many bread and muffin recipes call for wheat germ. Besides baking your own, eating whole grain breads and pastas will add more wheat germ to your diet. Wheat germ is loaded with fiber and other nutrients that can help you feel fuller longer, prevent weight gain, and regulate blood sugar levels.

9. Avocados

Avocados are a good source of healthy fat, similar to fats found in nuts, seeds, fish, and healthy oils. Research shows avocados can have a positive impact on cholesterol, may help reduce blood pressure, and may help lower Body Mass Index. Add avocados to salad or make your own guacamole.

10. Oatmeal

Go for whole-grain or steel-cut oats. Oatmeal is most recognized in medical literature for lowering cholesterol levels, which is important for maintaining heart health. Fiber in oatmeal also helps regular blood sugar levels to prevent or control diabetes. Eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast.