Photo: Greg Kessler

Eat This...For That
Ask people who know me, and they'll agree that when it comes to diet, I'm always singing the praises of automating what you eat. I know how easy it is to slip up and indulge in something unhealthy when better options aren't within reach. That's why I plan my meals and never look back. Breakfast is Greek yogurt with blackberries, blueberries and raspberries; I pack a thermos filled with my homemade green juice (a blend of spinach, cucumber, parsley, carrot, apple, orange and pineapple) to drink during the day; and I always carry a little bag filled with almonds to munch on in the afternoon. A little boring? Maybe, but I can promise you it cuts down on cravings. Every so often, though, new science comes along that persuades me to mix things up. I'm working these foods into my daily rotation, and I suggest you do, too.

Photo: Charles Masters

Avocados: Middle Whittler
It may sound counterintuitive, but slimming down by eating fat—there's nearly 30 grams in an avocado—is an idea that's steadily gaining traction. A small study in Nutrition Journal revealed that overweight people who included half an avocado in their midday meal reported greater satiety three hours later. Researchers also noted that avocado reduced spikes of insulin—a hormone that can promote fat storage, possibly making it harder for you to lose weight.

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Whole Wheat Pasta: Stroke Stopper
It should come as no surprise that I'm a fan of fiber. I consider it an absolute powerhouse for heart health, so I was excited to come across a report that found that increasing fiber intake by just seven grams a day—the amount in roughly 1½ cups of whole wheat pasta—was associated with a 7 percent reduction in stroke risk.

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Walnuts: Memory Booster
Make room, almonds. A new study in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging found that subjects ages 20 to 59 who ate an average of five walnut halves daily performed significantly better on cognitive tests (memorizing a series of symbols and numbers) than those who didn't eat them. The brain-boosting effects may come from the nut's high levels of antioxidants and omega-3s.

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Tea: Cancer Fighter
I'm recommending black tea to all my female friends. Why? Recent research, which pooled data from more than 170,000 women in Harvard University's Nurses' Health Studies, discovered that drinking more than a cup a day was associated with a 31 percent reduction in ovarian cancer risk. Black tea is rich in flavonols, which may inhibit the development of cancer cells.