8 Easy Steps to Eat Better
What to EatStock your kitchen for success.
You can buy all the veggies you want, but that doesn't mean you're going to eat them, especially if they're hidden away in the produce drawer. "Healthy eating is about having the right foods ready and waiting for you," says nutritionist David Grotto, RD, the author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life and a FITNESS advisory board member. "Bust fruits and veggies out of crisper prison, wash them, cut them up, and put them at the front of the center shelf in your fridge. You're more likely to eat whatever is directly in your line of sight." Keep the following foods on hand to make whipping up a healthy meal or snack easier than ordering takeout.
Research has shown that two glasses of nonfat milk after exercise helps you gain more muscle and lose more fat.
Go for a little bit of the good stuff instead of too much of the skinnier version. "You'll end up eating more of the low-fat cheese if you're not fully satisfied by it," Grotto says.
"It has more protein than regular yogurt, and it's extra creamy. Use it in place of sour cream or crème fraîche in chilis, sauces, potatoes, and dips," Grotto says.
Just three minutes in the microwave and they're ready for you to add them to salads, soups, or stir-fries or to munch on them for a snack with a little hummus or salsa.
Healthy frozen meals
Look for entrees of less than 400 calories, with at least three grams of fiber and less than 500 milligrams of sodium.
Low-sodium lunch meat
Eat it in sandwiches made from whole-grain bread, or roll it up with veggies and hummus in the middle.
Cleaned and portioned frozen fish fillets
"Once it's defrosted, salmon takes just minutes to prepare," Grotto says.
"Rinse and then put a handful into soups, stews, and salads for protein and fiber galore," Grotto suggests.
Whole-grain cereal, crackers, and pasta
Chose ones with at least five grams of protein and three grams of fiber. The protein will keep you feeling satisfied, and the fiber delivers long-lasting fullness.
"It's packed with protein and antioxidants, especially resveratrol, which has been found to help fight cancer and heart disease," Grotto says.
This heart-healthy monounsaturated fat is the perfect choice for sautéing because it has a high smoking point. "Store it in the fridge, because oils become rancid when exposed to heat and air," Grotto advises.
Sounds like diet blasphemy, right? During the low-carb craze, it was drummed into our heads that spuds packed on pounds, so we avoided them at all costs. But now the thinking has changed -- and how! Potatoes are actually a nutrient powerhouse, says Elisa Zied, RD, the author of Nutrition at Your Fingertips. "They're loaded with vitamin C and potassium, and they're a good source of fiber, which fills us up and helps keep cholesterol levels healthy," she explains. "Potatoes with red or purple skins also contain carotenoids and other antioxidants that fight damage from free radicals that can cause disease." In recent research, purple potatoes have also been shown to reduce blood pressure without causing weight gain.
Stop shunning spuds and start adding them to your plate. One medium potato (or a cup of diced or mashed) counts as one serving of vegetables. Because potatoes are starchy, round out your meal with a colorful second veggie, like broccoli or tomatoes.
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