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How to Use Yams for Weight Loss

by
author image Maura Banar
Maura Banar has been a professional writer since 2001 and is a psychotherapist. Her work has appeared in "Imagination, Cognition and Personality" and "Dreaming: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Dreams." Banar received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Buffalo State College and her Master of Arts in mental health counseling from Medaille College.
How to Use Yams for Weight Loss
Yams on a wooden surface. Photo Credit Pichest/iStock/Getty Images

Yams, according to USDA National Nutrient Database, are an excellent source of vitamin B-6 and potassium, vitamin C and fiber. With just 157 calories in a cup, yams can be an excellent food when you're trying to lose weight. In addition, the natural fiber in yams helps to slow down the rate your body processes sugar, keeping you from being hungry between meals. Yams can be prepared in a wide variety of dishes that are a delicious way to add this healthy vegetable to your diet.

Step 1

Incorporate yams into your main courses and side dishes to increase the size of the meal without adding a significant amount of calories. This is a great way to stretch dishes that may be high in fat or low in fiber, allowing you to eat the same amount but with additional fiber to fill you up faster, making you eat less. As an example, add a cup of sliced baked yams to your favorite meatloaf recipe. This will stretch out the meat, decrease calories, add fiber and provide a subtle flavor that complements that of the other ingredients.

Step 2

Carry baked yam chips with you for a healthy snack. Make several batches and store individual portions in plastic containers in the fridge. Eating baked yams as a snack rather than fried potato chips can keep you feeling fuller longer, without a large amount of added fat. Try using different flavored salts or spices when making baked yams, for variety.

Step 3

Incorporate yams into healthy, filling soups. Soups are an excellent way to fill your stomach before a meal or even to be the centerpiece of a lunch or dinner menu. Freeze the soup in single-portion containers and keep them handy for when you don't have time to cook something healthy.

Step 4

Have an oven-baked yam fries instead of french fries or a baked potato as a side dish. Unlike white potatoes, yams have more flavor and are an excellent source of vitamin C, B-6 and thiamine, according to Truestar Health. A single serving of fried white potato french fries contains approximately 231 calories and 11 grams of fat, yet a serving of baked yam fries contains approximately 150 calories and less than a gram of fat. Making this substitution five days a week can add to weight loss of as much as a pound each week.

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