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We count down the absolute best foods you can pile on your plate
It's true. You really are what you eat. And that's why some days you end up feeling more like a cream-filled Twinkie than the lean cut of beef you aspire to. But you probably already know that. That's why, like all of us, you're most likely trying to clean up your act and start eating healthy. But the truth is, that's ust not enough. Because if you're gorging yourself on apples, bananas, and salads made with iceberg lettuce, you may be eating healthy-but you're not eating smart. In order to build the body you want-the thunderous arms and the rock-hard abs, the lightning-!uick brain and the un!uenchable libido-you need to make e"ery bite of food you put in your mouth count. That means building your diet around the most potent, nutrient-dense, disease-fighting, muscle-growing foods around. But where do you start# And what foods are the absolute fittest# To find out, we decided to put some of the nation's top nutritionists to the test. $irst, we polled %& of the country's most respected food e'perts-registered dietitians, college nutrition professors, and authors-asking them each( )hat are the *& most important foods e"ery guy should include in his diet for ma'imum fitness# Then, as the results rolled in, we ranked our e'perts' recommendations. The more often foods appeared in the sur"ey results, and the higher those foods' position on the list, the more o"erall points they were awarded. )hich foods made the list# +ow much of each should you eat on a weekly basis# +ow much fitter can your diet get# ,ead on to find out. 20) Turkey Breast -. calories per /-o0 ser"ing 1at / ser"ings per week Buy it skinless and you get se"en grams of muscle-building protein per ounce. Turkey is high in B "itamins, 0inc 2a known booster of sperm production3, and the cancer fighter selenium. 4It's also got a ton of amino acids, and there are little or no saturated fats,4 says 1li0abeth )ard, 5.6., ,.7., a nutritionist in ,eading, 5ass. 48lus, it's one of the most "ersatile cuts of meat around, so you can easily eat it throughout the week and ne"er ha"e the same thing twice.4 19) Olive Oil **9 calories per tbsp 1at . tbsp per day :li"e oil is rich in good monounsaturated fat, making it an ideal food for heart health. In fact, studies show that replacing two tablespoons of saturated fat 2found in butter and lard3 with monounsaturated fat may reduce the risk of heart disease. But that's not the only reason to eat it. A study in the ournal ;ature reports that oli"e oil also has potent anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it can help reduce pain and swelling ust like a dose of ibuprofen. In addition to cooking with oli"e oil and using it as a dressing for your salad, you can get e"en more in your diet by mi'ing a tablespoon or two into your daily
so you should drink your milk by the glass rather than the gallon. . your body releases hormones that cause your cells to retain calcium-and fat. )hen you're not getting enough. @ike meat.protein shake. But unlike meat.. but you may not know that skipping dairy makes your body angry. it's higher in protein than any other grain around.. But you should be..7. they'"e got no saturated fats..4 says =hicago-based nutritionist Aennifer . But ust make sure you get some. says 5ichael Demel. sort of. and packs a hefty dose of heart-healthy.7.7. +ere's why( 1ggs contain a hea"y-hitting % grams of pure muscle-building amino acids inside e"ery shell. which is thought to help enhance memory. 4Beans of all types are always high on most nutritionists' lists. ser"ings per week Tiny as they are..4 says 5ohr.calories per cup 1at . . 1() )ilk **< calories per cup get / ser"ings of dairy per day You know milk does a body good. they ha"e more fiber per ser"ing than any other member of the legume family. 1") Black Beans . which swells in your stomach and promotes a feeling of fullness. mild fla"or-making it ideal for guys who hate other whole grains. 4>uinoa is also a great source of fiber and B "itamins. green tea has been shown to help fight almost e"ery ma or medical ill. calories per cup drink *-/ cups per day $rom cancer pre"ention to weight loss to potentially slowing the de"elopment of Al0heimer's. 8h. 8h. they're stuffed with a highly comple' form of carbohydrate that can take your body a long while to con"ert into energy.4 says )ard. in addition to boasting some of the highest naturally a"ailable doses around of a "itamin called choline. . Bathgate. beans can help you feel energi0ed and fuller longer than almost anything else you can eat. there's almost nothing better you can drink. And. they're also packed with protein. :unce for ounce. 1 ) !uinoa /*< calories per half cup 1at .4 says =hristopher 5ohr. It has a light. The reason is twofold( They're incredibly high in fiber. 1%) &''s -% calories per large egg eat /-. 4+ot or cold. 4They're the gold standard in terms of pro"iding all the right nutrients for muscle growth.ot the teabagging type# Try buying a li!uid e'tract.4 says )ard. =alories still count. 1#) $reen Tea .-/ ser"ings per week =hances are you may not be familiar with this e'otic whole grain grown in the Andes mountains.utrition Institute at the ?ni"ersity of Tennessee. 1"en better..7. 7rop a bit in water and "oilaB Instant tea. unsaturated fats.. director of The .eggs per week 4An egg a day is A-:C. a professor of nutrition at the ?ni"ersity of @ouis"ille. . 6o why'd our e'perts pick the black "ariety# 1asy.
you can. boiled. heat.a"y 61A@s eat soybeans. says =alifornia sports nutritionist Cim 5ueller. 12) +weet .otatoes *&& calories per med. none of the other super-foods would matter. 5d. or use them to make your own o"en-baked fries. too. potato 1at * per week A four-ounce sweet potato holds more than *&&F of our daily supply of beta carotene. says 5arietta Amatangelo.4 Although water helps in e"ery way. . this is one case in which the real thing works the best.4 8eterson calls soy a 4perfect food. "itamins. And there are more ways to eat them than ust baked. and supplies the body with a raft of crucial minerals. 4They think they don't like it until I make them try it. and minerals of the best "egetables and fruits. who's married to a 61A@. acts as an insulator for oints..7. and afterward. 6oy nuts and the soy protein used in some protein shakes and bars not only taste great but are "ery guy-friendly.. ser"es him and his . or pollution3. And although other forms of supplements are great. ser"ings per week If tough . and a plentiful shot of "itamins = and 1.4 says Demel. of Girginia Beach. . it's also a powerhouse of iron and 0inc. 1*) Water & calories 7rink < <-o0 glasses per day You know you need to be drinking more water. 10) Beef *H/ calories per /-o0 ser"ing 1at /-% ser"ings per week It's not only high in muscle-building amino acids. and the antio'idants.. You can also grate them into hamburgers or meatloaf. of Eermantown. They're also one of the best foods for muscle reco"ery after a tough workout. 7rinking a glass or two of water a half hour or so before mealtime. diced sweet potato into chili or your fa"orite potatosalad recipe. pre"ents kidney stones. Try stirring cooked. 11) +oy /&& calories per cup 1at . Eetting in all that water each day seem like a drag# Try making a half gallon of sugarfree lemonade you can sip throughout the day.4There are components in dairy that help turn on your body's fat-burning system and slow down the storage of fat.a"y buddies edamame. for e'ample. it may be at its most powerful when it comes to weight loss. I tell them it's soybeans.4 It has the protein of meat. and for good reason. . especially in athletes who compete in e'treme en"ironments 2such as altitude. If you don't like tofu and soy milk-there are easy ways to boost your soy intake. a hefty dose of iron. 4)ithout water. these nutrients work together to protect your body against cellular damage of all types. the fiber of a whole grain. or topped with marshmallows. regulates body temp. can help take the edge off your hunger. cold.7. Together. 7ietitian )endy Ao 8eterson. or buy a pack of calorie-free fla"orings to add to your water bottle at work. )ater flushes to'ins from your system.
digesti"e system. gi"ing you a rapid spike of energy-but one that comes crashing down ust as fast. and they pro"ide the longest possible supply of sustained energy. Eary $raser. there's still a place for comple' whole grains in your diet. says 5ueller. To work more almonds into your diet. try keeping a bag of dry-roasted or lightly seasoned almonds in your desk drawer at work-and snack on a handful rather than hitting the "ending machine. selenium. But that's a mistake.l/onds <.4 he says.. 4Try to buy yogurt that is less than a week old to ensure you're . opt for cuts with the words round or top in the name-things like eye round roast. it also digests incredibly !uickly in the body. Turns out they had no significant weight change. damaging cells and promoting e'cess storage of fat. making it an ideal food for weight loss..&F leaner than it was a decade ago.which aid circulatory health. ) . 6tudies show that people who eat yogurt most often are less likely to catch a cold than people who rarely eat the stuff.-o0 ser"ing 1at / ser"ings per week +igh in protein. In fact. It may only look brown because it's colored with molasses. slices 1at H slices per week )hite flour doesn't ust rob you of fiber and protein. 4They lea"e you feeling fuller longer. a professor of medicine at @oma @inda ?ni"ersity in =alifornia. Although they're also loaded with healthy unsaturated fats.4 Aust watch out when you're buying something that claims to be whole grain. To keep the meat you're buying lean as well as tender and fla"orful. calories per *I. phosphorus. *9 cuts of beef meet go"ernment guidelines as being a lean meat. almonds are great for your heart. In fact. plus acti"e cultures that boost the number of germfighting bacteria along your intestinal walls. beef is so nutrient-dense that a three-ounce ser"ing supplies more than *&F of your recommended daily intake of a number of nutrients. . fiber. yogurt contains calcium that not only boosts fat-burning but also helps you feel satiated. today's beef is up to . 46ince nuts are such a hard food. BH and B*. top round. )orried about the fat# 7on't.7. You can also blend almond butter into smoothies. ") 0o'urt *K% calories per cup Eet / ser"ings of dairy per day Yogurt has all the benefits of milk. those spikes in insulin production wear on the body. @ike milk. including protein. 9) Whole-Wheat Bread *%& calories per . check the ingredient list. uh.ather than buying based on color.4 says 5ohr. )hy does that matter# It helps keep you from getting sick. and "itamin 1. or top sirloin steak. it appears that a significant amount of their calories are ne"er absorbed into the body. ABJA sandwich. 8h. niacin. According to ?67A data. :"er time. and ribofla"in. studied folks who added two ounces of almonds to their diet on a regular basis. or use it in place of peanut butter to make an. The only true whole-grain products are those that contain *&&F whole wheat or whole grain listed as the first ingredient on the packaging. 6o why would you e"er eat white bread# 41"en if you're cutting carbs. some guys a"oid them because they're so calorie-dense. and skin.
flip to page . author of 7iet 6imple.4 she says. and fighting colds. calcium. this is the one I try hardest to get more guys to eat. which comes from the pigment that gi"es tomatoes their red color.7. 4You can start off the day with a glass of tomato uice and ha"e a tomato-based sauce a couple of times a week. It's rich with a healthy supply of iron. bones. calcium. it's true that tomatoes used to be called 4lo"e apples4 and ha"e a reputation as a powerful aphrodisiac. .-/ ser"ings per week )hat do button-down dietitians ha"e in common with brawl-happy cartoon sailors# They all lo"e their spinachB And for good reason. 4@ycopene becomes more bio-a"ailable to the body after it's been heated. a prostate-cancer sufferer who used his disease as the moti"ation for writing the cookbook 1at to Beat 8rostate =ancer. a nutrient "ital for immune-system health. pasta dishes and canned soup. To see our fa"orite lower-carb brands. a pri"ate practice nutritionist in :maha. Brocco-phobic# Try it on the sly( 6lip it into stir-fries. Catherine Tallmadge. prostate cancer.4 says ... may actually help fight off a number of diseases and ailments-most important for men.-/ half-cup ser"ings per week This fleshy green should be at the top of your list when it comes to "egetables. And the good news for guys on the run( Tomatoes are also that rare food that's more nutritious when cooked than when eaten raw. .. fiber.H.iki Cubiak. and "itamin =. .3 :ne word of caution( 5ost yogurt is packed with added sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. tomatoes win their place on our chart-and their relati"ely high ranking o"erall-because of a single nutrient( lycopene. If you can't stand spinach plain. but not-as far as we know-huge wrist fle'ors. the newer it is.umerous studies show that men who ha"e the most tomatoes and tomato-based products in their diet are less likely to de"elop prostate problems than men who rarely eat the stuff.4 says nutritionist 7a"id ..4 *) Oat/eal *%< calories per half cup 1at /-% ser"ings per week . #) +pinach . () To/atoes </ calories per cup 1at % ser"ings per week Yes.eb. This powerful antio'idant.getting the most benefit from the acti"e cultures. . 4As far as "egetables go.calories per cup 1at . you're pretty much on the way. and "irtually your entire day's recommended dosage of beta carotene.7. good "ision. 2The later the product's e'piration date. suggests dropping it into burritos. But that lore has nothing to do with why we picked the tomato as the best food for se'ual health.icketts. %) Broccoli /* calories per cup 1at . . onto pi00a. :ne ser"ing of these leafy greens is loaded with fiber.ather. meaning it's good for the circulatory system. or use raw chunks as a "ehicle for your fa"orite dip. +owe"er you can work it in.
keep in mind that oatmeal can also help promote weight loss and lower your risk of heart disease. the polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish appear to correct and pre"ent obesity.)hen it comes to eating breakfast in the morning. :atmeal is also filled with stress-fighting and immunity-boosting 0inc. stick with the big tub of instant oatmeal and add your own fruit and calorie-free sweeteners. Those fla"ored. protein is the absolute best food for helping fill you up. $ree radicals. !uicker thinking and the best memory possible. If that weren't enough to con"ince you to pop a bowl in the microwa"e. These fatty acids are thought to slow memory loss as you age and boost heart health by regulating heart rhythms and keeping arteries and "eins supple and free of blockages. Besides helping stimulate your metabolism three to four times more than carbs or fat. dropping le"els by up to /& points or more in some cases. so you take in fewer calories and burn more. if you need them. howe"er. And blueberries harness the firepower to knock them out of ser"ice. mi'ed in fruit salad or a smoothie. 2) Blueberries %* calories per half cup 1at *-. And that's ust the tip of the iceberg. says Cubiak. )hile saturated fats lead to obesity. which increase in number as you get older. :atmeal is filled with high le"els of soluble fiber that protect your heart and arteries by trapping and e'pelling cholesterol. )hether you're getting them raw. "itamins. cups per week :f all the fruit you can eat. . singleser"ing packs that litter grocery-store aisles are often filled with added sugar-and therefore e'cess calories. according to a study published in =linical 6cience. A three-ounce cooked ser"ing contains . The best oatmeal may not be the most con"enient. tossed into cereal. And that's what being a fit food is all about. promoting disease. =hief among those nutrients are free-radical-fighting antio'idants. tra"el around your body damaging cells. but the biggest has got to be because its so densely stuffed with omega-/'s. 1) +al/on *. and triggering signs of premature aging. .& grams-making it ideal for building muscle and trimming fat. and minerals per ounce than any other fruit in the produce aisle. Instead.eed another reason to eat them# +ow about your memory# Those same antio'idants that fight disease are also effecti"e in helping keep connections between cells in your brain and ner"ous system healthy. there's nothing better than a bowl of oatmeal to spike your energy le"els and pro"ide you with an hours-long supply of fuel.* calories per /-o0 ser"ing 1at /-% ser"ings per week 6almon tops our list for a number of reasons. 6almon is also an e'cellent source of protein. blueberries pack more fiber. blueberries may be the absolute best. ensuring clearer.
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