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Meals to help fight the flab

HealthBy Sunday World
Meals to help fight the flab

Stomach crunches and high intensity workouts play their part in battling stomach fat, but so can your diet.

At times, it can be hard to muster up the enthusiasm to hit the gym to get rid of our flabby tummies, but research has shown there are other ways to tackle this body issue – and the magic words to remember are monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).

The mighty MUFAs can help to promote fat loss in your midsection, so introducing them into a balanced diet could make a real difference. Eating a source of MUFAs with each meal will help your body burn fat from the stomach area, according to the March 2007 issue of the Journal for Diabetes Care.

These fats help to increase an individual’s basal metabolic rate, therefore allowing you to burn fat quicker.

If those stubborn flabby areas around your stomach are making it tricky to fit into your favourite jeans, or you are worried about overindulging with Christmas just around the corner, consider adding some MUFAs into your diet.

Foods high in these fats include oils, nuts, avocados, olives and even dark chocolate.

Monounsaturated fats help to keep you feeling fuller for longer, and prevent you from feeling tempted to over-eat. It can be as simple as adding a spoon of olive oil, a handful of olives or a few slices of avocado to your sandwich at lunchtime.

Here, we give you some easy recipe ideas to incorporate into your mealtimes.

First up, it’s the amazing avocado. This green wonder is packed with great things and tastes fantastic too, as long as you take care to only select ripe ones.

Try mashing it up with lime juice, salt and pepper for a quick dip and eat with batons of carrot and raw pepper for a healthy snack.

An ideal serving of avocado to beat the belly bulge is around 1/4 of a cup, so keep that in mind when you are whipping up a tasty treat.

If you can’t resist a sandwich at lunchtime, put in a few slices of avocado with hummus and tomatoes for a meal packed with fibre and protein, along with essential nutrients.

It’s a great ingredient for dinner too, especially as an accompaniment to pasta or noodles.

Blend with fresh lemon, olive oil, garlic and pepper, then add to linguine for a creamy dish or fix some fettuccine with basil pesto, red peppers and carrots, finished off with slices of avocado.

Avocados also make a welcome addition to salads bursting with quinoa, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber and red onion.

Next time you fancy a stir fry, add a tablespoon of sunflower, sesame or olive oil for a boost of MUFAs. Flaxseed oil is another wonder ingredient, best used in salad dressings.

A handful of cashews, Brazil nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts or almonds make a healthy snack, or treat yourself to a slice of brown toast with natural peanut butter. You could also try sprinkling sunflower or pumpkin seeds on your salads.

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