Over the years, we’ve all had favorite eats hit the healthy-food blacklist, but thankfully, some of them are making a return. In fact, recent research has not only redeemed once-taboo foods such as steak, eggs (yolks included), and peanut butter but also found that when eaten in moderation, some of them may actually help you conquer the scale.
Then: Higher in calories than most fruits, bananas were considered carbs that packed on pounds.
Now: Bananas contain a type of dietary fiber known as resistant starch that your body can’t absorb, so it fills you up temporarily without the risk of filling you out permanently. Other research has linked resistant starch to an increase in post-meal fat-burning, says Janine Higgins, Ph.D., nutrition research director at the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. One of the by-products of the unabsorbed carbohydrates in your system is butyrate, a fatty acid that may inhibit the body’s ability to burn carbs, forcing it to incinerate fat instead.
Bring it back: Choose a greener banana; once it has turned totally yellow, the starch inside has broken down and is no longer resistant to digestion. If you don’t like to eat bananas when they’re that firm, toss one into the blender for a hunger-dampening smoothie. And take a deep whiff before sipping it: Research from The Smell Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago shows that the smell of banana helps reduce appetite, so you may not want to eat as much anyway.