Healthy Food Pairings That Can Only Help Your Weight Loss Journey


Losing weight not only takes some serious commitment but also a great deal of patience when it comes to sifting through information about how to do it properly. After all, every year seems to bring a few new fad diets that appear to encourage weight loss but aren’t healthy and sustainable in the long run.

While these food pairings are not the magic key to losing weight, they do have health benefits that could help make your diet and exercise plans easier.

Banana and peanut or almond butter

Although Elvis proved that it’s possible to eat this pairing in excess, it can prove healthier than his infamous consumption of the combination might suggest.

Peanut Butter-Banana Wraps photographed in Washington, DC.
Deb Lindsey For The Washington Post via Getty Images

According to dietitian Alissa Rumsey, the fiber found in bananas can benefit weight loss efforts by making the body feel fuller, which is also the job of the nut butter you would pair it with. So while it’s not healthy to eat too much of this pairing, you likely won’t want to if it’s doing its job.

Suggested reading =>> Foods help to Loss Weight


Chicken and cayenne pepper

Whole Roasted Spatchcock Chicken with Norah Mills Cayenne Grits, Oven  Dried Tomato, Sautéed Spinach and Chanterelle Mushroom Gravy at the new 
Addie's restaurant photographed in Potomac, MD.
Deb Lindsey For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The weight loss benefits of both of these foods can be a little overblown, leading some to base entire diets around them. But eating just one or two foods all the time is simply not sustainable.

Nonetheless, a 2014 study in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism found that protein-grilled chicken breasts not only help the body feel full but provide more energy to help the body burn fat during exercise. A 2017 study in Bioscience Reports found that the capsaicin in cayenne pepper also helps the body feel full, so it's a handy way to flavor that chicken.


Oatmeal and walnuts

oatmeal with nuts and berries

It may not be the most exciting food in the world, but gastroenterologist Chaim Ross of NYU Langone at Great Neck Medical names it as a great agent for appetite control without causing spikes in blood sugar or insulin levels.

And since a 2017 study in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism identified walnuts as activating brain regions involved in appetite and impulse control, they make a great teammate with oatmeal.


Spinach and lemon juice

Pictured is the Easy Green:  kale, spinach, cucumber, apple, pineapple, lemon at Revolution Juice in Boston on Jul. 23, 2015.
Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Dietitian Jenny Champion identified spinach as a great vegetable to encourage weight loss due to its low-calorie count, low carbohydrate levels, and high fiber content. Not only does it help you feel full, but it's very lean while doing it.

And while dietitian Toby Amidor warns that lemon juice isn't the fat-burning juggernaut that its hype would suggest, it remains a good and low-calorie source of helpful antioxidants. So it's not like it hurts.


Chickpeas and spaghetti squash

Chard, chickpea and butternut soup.
Brianna Soukup/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Not only do these tastes pair well, but they can help your body in similar ways when they work together. Not only does dietitian Emily Wunder identify them as a great source of zinc (which helps strengthen the immune system), but they're also a substantial source of appetite-suppressing protein.

And since fiber fills a similar role in a weight loss journey, it's a good idea to pair the beans with spaghetti squash as dietitian Shahzadi Devje identified this as a low-calorie and low-fat source of it.


Tuna and ginger

Christine Burns Rudalevige skewers chunks of tuna that were marinated in  ginger, garlic chili sauce, honey, soy sauce and sesame oil.
Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

It's common to flavor tuna with ginger, which could be good news for our bodies. Dietitian Lauren Manaker mentioned tuna as an excellent source of hunger-suppressing protein without many saturated fats but cautions watching out for sodium and mercury levels in canned variants.

As for ginger, a 2019 meta-analysis in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found that it showed some promising effects in body weight reduction and hip-to-waist ratio but made little difference in BMI, insulin levels, and certain cholesterol levels.

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