Fat is essentially neutral in terms of influencing insulin. But fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, do trigger satiating and fat-burning hormones and are a building block for cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

Contrary to popular belief, recent studies have shown fat consumption does not significantly impact weight and, in some cases, hastens weight loss. For instance, in Hu’s study, increased intake of even full-fat dairy products (with the exception of those containing probiotics) had no effect on weight. Nuts, which are high in mostly monounsaturated fat, were closely associated with weight loss. Topping the list of seemingly slimming foods was yogurt. “Microorganisms in fermented foods like yogurt may be beneficial for energy metabolism and appetite-reducing hormones,” Hu says.

When you’re building a hormone-balancing diet, Hu recommends getting 35 percent to 45 percent of calories from minimally processed carbohydrates (mostly the low-starch variety), and splitting the rest between lean protein and fats from polyunsaturated sources, like fish and monounsaturated sources, such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds.