The 5 Most Nutrition-Packed Foods

This list of the most nutritious foods comes from Susan Burke, R.D., vice president of nutrition for eDiets.com, and Jeff Novick, director of nutrition for the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa.

from Forbidden Advice (Reader's Digest Association Books)
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The following comes from Susan Burke, R.D., vice president of nutrition for eDiets.com, and Jeff Novick, director of nutrition for the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Aventura, Florida.

1. FISH
Choose any fish for high-quality, lean protein that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. (One caveat: Avoid large deepwater varieties such as tilefish, kingfish, and swordfish, which are chock-full of mercury.) Vary your fish choices: Fatty fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna) are full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but you shouldn't eat them every day. And don't ignore shellfish: Although it contains dietary cholesterol, this type of cholesterol is not linked to heart disease.

2. BEANS

Beans are the richest source of vegetable protein to be found. They're dense in nutrients, low in calories, and are loaded with fiber — especially soluble fiber, the type that lowers blood cholesterol.

3. FRUIT

All fruits are fantastic as long as you eat them whole, as opposed to drinking processed juices. But super fruits like blueberries, kiwis, and strawberries pack the most nutritional punch in terms of antioxidants and fiber.

4. SWEET POTATOES

When you see orange, think nutrition. Orange means beta carotene, which produces the antioxidant vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamin C and B6, and they're full of fiber.

5. OATMEAL

Studies find that people who eat oatmeal on a regular basis maintain a stable weight and a healthy cholesterol level. That's because oatmeal provides a high-fiber, high-protein source of magnesium and selenium. Just mix 1/2 cup whole oats and 1 cup water and microwave for 1 minute. Add blueberries or raisins for an additional treat.

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