Sweet, savory, hot, cold: No matter how it's served, food is far more than just a source of energy. It nourishes us spiritually, and a good meal can be a beautiful communal experience that creates lifelong memories.

But sometimes food is the enemy. Eating the wrong type of things—and too much of them—has fueled America's obesity epidemic. Defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as having a Body Mass Index of 30.0 or higher, obesity has been identified as a major factor in diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.

The statistics make grim reading:

•38 percent of American adults are considered obese, according to a study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

•The CDC reports that the rate of children with obesity has tripled since the 1970s.

•An obese person will spend $1,429 more annually on health care costs, the CDC reports.

•The same report found that $147 billion is spent nationwide on preventable chronic diseases and associated costs each year.

The government has responded with a slew of programs, like Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, which aimed to get children more physically active and give them access to healthier food options. But the crisis isn't abating. “We haven’t turned the tide. If anything, rates are continuing to climb upwards,” Dr. David Ludwig of Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health told the New York Times.

Most people know being overweight is unhealthy, Dr. James Krieger, a professor of medicine at the University of Washington, told the Times. “But just telling people there’s a problem doesn’t solve it."

What can help is knowing more about what goes into a healthy diet. We’ve compiled a list of 25 foods that that can help you lose weight (and hopefully keep it off). Put down that cheeseburger and slide through to find out what you should be eating instead.