To the ancient Greeks, olive oil was liquid gold. For the Aztecs, chocolate was sacred. Almonds were prized by Egypt's pharaohs, and avocados have symbolized fertility for centuries. These can't-live-without-'em foods share more than history; they also share unique health properties. They're packed with monounsaturated fatty acids (also known as MUFAs, pronounced MOO-fahs), those good-for-you fats that protect you from chronic disease and, according to new research, can help you lose fat, specifically around your middle. That's why they're at the heart of the Flat Belly Diet, a unique Prevention-tested weight loss plan.
There are five major categories of MUFAs: (1) oils, (2) nuts and seeds, (3) avocado, (4) olives, and (5) chocolate. Eating one serving of any of these at every meal will help reduce your accumulation of dangerous belly fat; control your calorie intake and you'll lose inches and pounds, too -- especially around your waistline.
We've gathered up some great recipes with these ingredients -- for example, check out the Grilled Portobello and Roasted Pepper Burgers. Each portion contains high levels of MUFA, plus serving suggestions that allow you to create a meal that contains around 400 calories -- enough to control your hunger and boost your energy without exceeding your daily needs.