September 10, 2009

Belly-Busting Berries

Wheatley, ValerieBy Valerie Wheatley, R.D., L.D., L.D.N
Hy-Vee Registered Dieticia
(309) 787-0273

You’ve probably seen blueberries on your dietitian’s Top Ten Foods list and some recent research adds another reason to eat more of these iridescent delights. The antioxidants found in blueberries may help burn belly fat. According to researchers from the University of Michigan’s Cardioprotection Research Laboratory, obese rats who ate a diet rich in blueberries for 90 days had less abdominal fat than rats that were not fed blueberries. They even showed better processing of glucose into energy and lower cholesterol. Furthermore, rats fed a low-fat diet with blueberries were able to burn more body fat than rats that ate a high-fat diet with blueberries.

Antioxidants are found in many fruits and vegetables. They tend to neutralize free radicals in the body and protect cells from permanent damage. They may prevent inflammation of the blood vessels and may reduce the risk for cancer. They may also help you look younger longer. Great reason to eat more berries! WebMD ranks blueberries as second on a list of the top 20 antioxidant-rich foods.

The Framingham Nutrition Study found other signs of what to eat to reduce belly fat. They said to eat more – of healthier foods. Women who ate 400 calories more per day of healthier foods were less likely to develop abdominal fat than those who ate fewer calories but ate more saturated fat and less fiber. Other foods identified in the Framingham study that might help in this battle of the bulge were citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes and red peppers for their vitamin C content, small snacks of protein for their impact on satiety, olive oil instead of saturated fats like butter, walnuts or seafood for their healthy omega-3 fats and plenty of water.

Try this low-fat, delicious dessert for a guilt-free, belly-busting treat. If you have nutrition questions, find your local Hy-Vee registered dietitian for the answers!

Peach and Blueberry Parfait
Serves 1.
All you need:
1 (4 oz) Hy-Vee diced peaches fruit cup, drained, divided
1/4 cup Hy-Vee fat-free vanilla yogurt, divided
2 tbsp blueberries
1 tbsp granola

All you do:

  1. In a parfait cup, layer one half diced peaches, 2 tbsp yogurt and blueberries.
  2. Top with remaining peaches and yogurt. Sprinkle with granola.

Nutrition Facts per serving: Nutrition Facts per serving: 150 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 5 g protein.
Daily Values: 0% vitamin A, 30% vitamin C, 10% calcium, 2% iron.