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4 Easy Nutrition Fixes

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4. Sneak In More Produce

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and obesity. Five servings a day is a good start, but nine is best. Here are four simple ways to get there:

Include color in every meal.

Have at least one serving at every breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. That one serving could be a medium-size whole fruit, 6 ounces of 100-percent fruit or vegetable juice, one-half cup of fresh, frozen, or canned produce (such as green beans or berries), one cup of leafy greens, or one-quarter cup of dried fruit.

Hide it in everyday favorites.

"Add shredded, chopped, or minced vegetables to whatever you're already eating. You'll boost your intake without feeling the pressure of having to add yet more food to your diet," says Sass. Throw chopped broccoli or peas into a beloved casserole, onions and mushrooms into a pasta dish, or leftover vegetables into soup. Trade the syrup on your pancakes, French toast, or waffle for one cup of fresh or thawed berries, peaches, or bananas.

Look for veggie opportunities.

Request extra lettuce, red onion, and tomato on your deli sandwich. At restaurants, ask if you can swap the potato, chips, or fries for a side of vegetables.

Add fruit to everything.

Place a platter of cut-up fruit out on the coffee table after dinner. Or add some to yogurt: Try cantaloupe in lemon yogurt, fresh peaches in vanilla yogurt, or blueberries in raspberry yogurt.

Want more healthy eating and nutrition ideas and tips? Our 8-week Eat Healthier e-mail newsletter course will help you make permanent changes to your diet.


Originally published in FITNESS magazine, October 2006.


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