Spuds don’t have a waist-friendly reputation, but they’re actually full of nutrients, Gidus says. “White foods contain the disease-fighting chemical allicin,” she says. “This chemical, also present in garlic, has been shown to fight inflammation in the body, contributing to smaller waistlines.” Plus, research shows that calorie for calorie, white potatoes are more satisfying than any other tested food.
Mashed sweet potatoes
Eating sweet potatoes can prevent sugar from getting stored around your waistline as fat. How? Sweet potatoes are rich in carotenoids—the orange and yellow pigments in plants that help the body respond to insulin—as well as CGA (also found in coffee). Carotenoids and CGA slow the body’s release of glucose and insulin, says Bowden. Plus, sweet potatoes are filled with fiber, which slows digestion and prevents blood sugar from plummeting—and your hunger from spiking.