Seven Ways to Eat Healthier
Think eating healthy is impossible? Flavorless? Or something to be avoided? Here are seven things you can do now for a healthier tomorrow.
Cut down on the beef burgers.
In a Restaurant: Skip the ground beef burger and try chicken breast, ground turkey or a veggie burger. What's the difference? A McDonald's Quarter Pounder (without cheese) has 430 calories and 21 grams of fat. Order a Chicken McGrill (without mayonnaise), and it has only 305 calories and 6 grams of fat.
If you're on a low carbohydrate diet, order the sandwich without the bread, and you get a low fat, low carb, high protein meal.
At Home: Substitute ground turkey breast for hamburger and check out vegetarian options in the freezer section such as Gardenburgers or Boca Burgers.
Don't cover your meals in fat.
A ground turkey burger tastes good, but a single slice of American Cheese adds 4-6 grams of saturated fat. Avoid toppings like mayonnaise too. One tablespoon can add 95 calories and 10 grams of fat!
If your food needs dressing up, try adding mustard, tomatoes, lettuce or onions. These are low in fat, low in carbs, and you get the added benefit of getting at least one of your servings of vegetables per day.
Use a non-stick pan for cooking, and coat that pan with non-fat cooking spray.
Traditional skillets require more oils and butter to cook, so the foods don't stick to the bottom. Non-stick cooking pans don't require as much (or any) oils to cook and are easier to clean.
If you have to coat the pan with something, remember that one tablespoon of butter contains 102 calories and 11 grams of fat. A non-stick cooking spray has no calories and no fat. It's easier to use as well. Pop the top, spray and put away.
Buy lower sodium (salt) foods.
Excess sodium is one of the leading known causes of high blood pressure. The typical American consumes more than twice the recommended daily allowance of sodium.
In a Restaurant: Step away from the salt shaker! Most foods are salty enough just as they arrive at the table—taste before you shake.
At Home: When you shop, look for lower sodium alternatives by comparing labels. A single slice of bread can contain up to 300 mg of sodium, but many companies make no-salt options. Look for lower sodium soups, no salt added canned vegetables, and if you eat frozen meals, check out the options that don't exceed 500 calories a serving and are lower in fat, salt and sugar.
Drink 1% (Low-Fat) or Skim (Fat-Free) milk.
One cup of 2% milk contains 122 calories and almost 5 grams of fat. Switch to skim milk, and that same cup has only 86 calories and virtually no fat.
Also, consider lactose free skim milk. It tastes the same as traditional skim milk but stays fresh longer and is easier to digest.
Quit drinking your calories.
One 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar. Drink three cans of Coke in a day, and you've consumed an entire meal's worth of calories.
In a Restaurant: Order ice tea or diet sodas. But not pre-sweetened tea! To sweeten my tea, I mix one packet of Sweet N Low with one packet of Equal. I get no calories, and the different sweeteners from the two sugar alternatives balance each other out for a sweet, low calorie and sugar-free drink.
At Home: Move down the soda aisle in your grocery store and try the diet alternatives. There are plenty to choose from. Don't like the taste of Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi? Try diet vanilla, diet cherry, diet root beer...
Additional options include sugar and calorie-free drink mixes. Most actually have nothing to offer! (As in no calories, no sugar and no sodium.) Try the different flavors to find one you like.
You can start making changes today!
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CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.