Losing weight is as easy as eating more fermentable carbs. That’s the term for a type of fiber that doesn’t break down until it arrives deep within our gut, and new research shows that diets high in fermentable carbohydrates produce more of the hormones that help us feel “full,” so we eat less overall. Fermentable carbs also keep us from gaining dangerous visceral fat that forms between organs, and raises our risk for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. So, which foods have the most “fermentable carbohydrates”?

  • At the top of the list is: Oats. Like steel-cut oatmeal. They’re loaded with a substance that absorbs “bad” LDL cholesterol, so it can’t damage our arteries. Plus, oats take a long time to digest, which prevents the big spikes and crashes in blood sugar which cause us to overeat and gain weight.

  • Another fermentable carb: Bananas. One banana contains a third of our day’s supply of vitamin B6. That nutrient helps reduce our stress hormones, which can effect our weight. Because when we’re stressed out, our body goes into “survival mode,” and holds onto every calorie. So reducing stress is key to losing weight.

  • One more fermentable carb is: Mushrooms. They’re a rich source of zinc, a nutrient that helps our body burn off more carbon monoxide gas, the stuff that makes us feel short of breath when we exercise. The result is that eating mushrooms makes exercise feel easier, so we work out longer. And as a bonus, research shows that eating just a handful of mushrooms a day increases the production and activity of white blood cells, which makes our immune system more aggressive at fighting off infections.