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4 Easy Nutrition Fixes

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1. Switch to Healthier Fats

Eating more foods that contain healthy monounsaturated and omega-3 fats such as olive oil, avocados, fish, and nuts, along with more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, can lower your risk for heart disease by 80 percent and diabetes by 90 percent, according to a recent Harvard study. But just including these foods on top of all the saturated and trans fats already in your diet will add up to excess calories. Instead, trade the bad for the good. Here's how:

Do better than butter.

"Dip bread in extra-virgin olive oil infused with herbs, such as basil and oregano flakes," recommends Cynthia Sass, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Or, says Jackie Newgent, RD, a culinary nutritionist in New York City, add a drizzle of white truffle oil and roasted garlic to mashed potatoes before serving, instead of flavoring them with butter.

Add nuts.

Coat chicken breasts in a mix of spices and crushed pecans or almonds, then bake, for a healthy alternative to fried chicken. Sprinkle ground flaxseed on your morning cereal and top with walnuts for a hefty boost of omega-3 fats.

Swap turf for surf.

Switch from filet mignon to fillet of salmon, which is rich in omega-3s; choose wild or organic farmed salmon if it's available, since these have lower levels of mercury contamination. Aim for two servings of seafood per week -- other types high in omega-3s include chunk light tuna (albacore has more mercury), oysters, and herring.

Go for guac.

Top an omelet with sliced avocado -- high in monounsaturated fat -- instead of cheese, which is one of the biggest sources of saturated fat in the American diet. "Or use guacamole as a mayo alternative on your sandwich," recommends Newgent.

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