The 15 Best Fat-Burning Foods

Stock your fridge and pantry with these fat-burning essentials

January 13, 2012

1. WALNUTS All nuts do contain some amount of the omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid, but most only contain trace amounts. The real fat hero in most nuts is monounsaturated fats Walnuts are actually a rich source of omega-3s. One ounce provides almost 3 g of alpha-linolenic acid.

2. GINGER Used for centuries to help relieve digestive upset/disturbances, ginger can also help reduce inflammation, boost blood flow to muscles and aid muscle recovery It has also has been shown to boost calorie burn when eaten.

3. OATMEAL This very slow-digesting carb keeps blood sugar and insulin levels low, so fat burning can stay high. In fact, research has shown that athletes who consume slow-digesting carbs in the morning burn more fat throughout the entire day and during workouts than those consuming fast-digesting carbs.

4. AVOCADO The monounsaturated fats found in avocados are burned readily for fuel during exercise and actually encourage fat burning. Avocados also contain a very interesting carb called mannoheptulose, a sugar that. actually blunts insulin release and enhances calcium absorption, both of which are critical for encouraging fat loss.

5. SALMON This fish is one of the richest sources of the omega-3 essential fats EPA and DHA. Unlike flaxseeds, which provide a type of omega-3 that has to be converted into EPA and DHA, salmon provides your body a direct supply of them with no conversion required. This way you know you're getting a direct supply of the fats that turn on fat burning and block fat storage.

6. SOYBEANS (EDAMAME) Soybeans are the direct origin of soy protein, which has been shown to build muscle as efficiently as other forms of protein like whey and beef. Soy has also been shown to aid fat loss, possibly by decreasing appetite and calorie intake.

7. WATER This just may be your best ally in fighting body fat Studies have shown that drinking 2 cups of cold water can boost metabolic rate by 30%. It has been estimated that drinking about 2 cups of cold water before breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for a year can burn 17,400 extra calories, which translates into a little more than 5 pounds of bodyfat!

8. FLAXSEEDS They contain the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid. These omega-3 fats have been found to turn on genes that stimulate fat burning and turn off genes that increase fat storage.

9. GRAPEFRUIT A study from the Scripps Clinic (San Diego, California) reported that subjects eating half of a grapefruit or drinking 8 oz of grapefruit juice three times a day while maintaining their normal diet lost an average of 4 pounds over 12 weeks--and some lost more than 10 pounds without even dieting! Results were likely due to grapefruit's ability to reduce insulin levels and to a chemical in grapefruit known as naringin, which prevents fat from being stored in the body.

10. HONEY Yes, it's a sugar, but it's fairly low on the glycemic index. Keeping insulin levels low and steady is critical for maintaining a fat-burning environment in your body Honey is also a rich source of nitric oxide (NO) metabolites; ultimately that means it actually encourages fat release from the body's fat cells.

11. PEANUT BUTTER Another source of helpful monounsaturated fat that can actually aid fat loss. What's funny is that many food manufacturers make low-fat peanut butters! Of course, they replace these healthy monounsaturated fats with carbs, namely sugar. Avoid these and stick with natural peanut butters that don't add the type of fat you surely want to avoid--trans fats.

12. EGGS Yes, we listed eggs in the muscle-building foods. So how can it also be a fat-burning food? Research supports the notion that those who start their day with eggs not only eat fewer calories throughout the day but also lose significantly more bodyfat.

13.CHILI PEPPER FLAKES Hot peppers contain the active ingredient capsaicin, a chemical that can enhance calorie burning at rest as well as reduce hunger and food intake. The boost in calorie burn is particularly enhanced when capsaicin is used with caffeine.

14. BROCCOLI This fibrous carb doesn't provide many net carbs or calories, but it can make you feel full--one reason why it's a great food for getting lean. Broccoli also contains phytochemicals that can help enhance fat loss

15. OLIVE OIL Like avocados, olive oil is a great source of monounsaturated fats. Not only do they lower levels of the "bad" type of cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health, but they're also more likely to be burned as fuel, which means they're less likely to be sticking around your midsection.