These four foods are often shunned by people on diets, but avocado, banana, chickpeas and walnuts are nutritious foods that can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet, even by those trying to lose weight. In fact, these foods can be great choices for dieters looking to fill up with healthy options.

Avocado

Avocado doesn’t contain as many calories as dieters often think, with 160 calories per 100 grams, equivalent to around one half of a fruit. Avocado addicts now even use the fruit in cakes and ice creams as a substitute for butter or milk. As well as its creamy texture and delicious flavour, avocado has a low glycemic index. In other words, it doesn’t send insulin levels sky-rocketing, promoting the storage of fat. As well as being packed with vitamins E and K, avocado contains healthy fat that reduces LDL cholesterol.

Banana

With 89 calories per 100 grams, banana is the ideal substitute for sugary desserts or afternoon snacks like cakes or biscuits. Rich in potassium, magnesium and manganese, banana has plenty of health benefits, especially for promoting digestion and helping you feel full. Look for fruits that aren’t too ripe to keep the glycemic index low. The fruit is sweeter when eaten ripe and in purées.

Bananas can help you feel full and avoid binge eating.

Chickpeas

Often associated with rich, hearty dishes, chickpeas are often shunned by dieters. They are, in fact, a good source of protein with a very low glycemic index, since they are rich in fibre. Still, they can be problematic for people with sensitive digestive systems.

Full of fibre, chickpeas can help with digestion.

Full of fibre, chickpeas can help with digestion.

Walnuts

Walnuts have excellent health benefits, so long as you don’t go overboard with quantities (460 calories per 100g). Rich in healthy fats (omega-3), they protect the heart and are a source of antioxidants and fibre. They also contain melatonin, phytosterols and arginine, all of which are essential to good health. Several studies have shown that walnuts could help with weight loss while helping reduce the desire to snack. Try sprinkling a few walnuts on salads, muesli or cereal.

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Walnuts are packed with good fat, antioxidants and fibre.

– AFP Relaxnews