The secret to eating better? Fill your diet with healthy fare that tastes good

Pork chops

Per gram of protein, pork chops contain almost five times the selenium – an essential mineral that’s linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer – of beef, and twice that of chicken. And researchers at Purdue University in Indiana, the US, found that a 170g serving a day helped people preserve their muscle while losing weight.

Iceberg lettuce

Conventional wisdom suggests this salad staple is nutritionally bankrupt, but as it turns out, half a head of iceberg lettuce has significantly more alphacarotene, a powerful disease-fighting antioxidant, than either Romaine lettuce or spinach.

Mushrooms

This fungi’s metabolites – by-products created when mushrooms are broken down during digestion – have been shown to boost immunity and prevent cancer growth, report researchers in the Netherlands.

Vinegar

Scientists in Sweden discovered that when people consumed two tablespoons of vinegar with a high-carb meal, their blood sugar was 23 percent lower than when they skipped the antioxidant-loaded liquid. They also felt fuller.

Red-pepper flakes

A Dutch study found that consuming a gram of red-pepper flakes – about half a teaspoon – 30 minutes before a meal reduced kilojoule intake by 16 percent. Plus, new research suggests its active ingredient, capsaicin, may help kill cancer cells.

Cheese

This dairy product is an excellent source of casein protein – one of the best muscle-building nutrients you can eat. What’s more, Danish researchers found that even when men ate 280g of cheese daily for three weeks, their “bad” LDL cholesterol didn’t budge.