Healthy Eating Tips - - Jackson, MS

Healthy Eating Tips

Need some good ideas for a dessert that won't make you feel too guilty? Try angel food cake topped with fresh berries, frozen low-fat yogurt, graham crackers, or pudding made with 1% milk.

You should try not to snack in between meals. But if you do, try to eat slowly and savor your snack, and go for nutritional value with things like fruit, veggies, and whole grain products.

The next time you have a sweet tooth, instead of reaching for cookies or candy, try a small can of fruit or dried fruit, graham crackers, or a fruit bar.

You've tried the leftover turkey sandwich, now try the leftover turkey salad! Add a few pieces of turkey to a generous portion of mixed greens and sliced veggies. It's low in fat and a good source of protein and fiber.

Healthy and portable midday snacks include: carrots and humus, an apple and cheese, fruits and nuts, and whole grain crackers and peanut butter.

The next time you snack, instead of crackers, chips or cheese puffs try: sliced veggies dipped in low-fat dressing, whole wheat pretzels, or a mix of oat squares and mini shredded wheat.

Avoid sugary soda or fruit flavored drinks. Some contain as many as 10 teaspoons of sugar. Instead try club soda with lemon or lime, or mix club soda with a little fruit juice.

When it comes to snacking, choose foods that have little or no added sugar, salt, and fat. Look for foods that have natural health protectors like fiber and vitamins. Your best bets are fruits and vegetables.

Here are a few easy snack ideas. Try low-fat yogurt, rice cakes, a piece of fruit, air popped popcorn, or low-sugar cereal.

Dairy products have important nutrients your body needs. Unfortunately, many people think they're fattening and unhealthy. But dairy products contain calcium, vitamin D, and protein - - just opt for low-fat varieties.

Does eating after 8pm cause weight gain? Not necessarily. It doesn't matter what time of day you eat - - it's how much you eat during the whole day, and how much exercise you get that makes you lose or gain weight.

It's a myth that skipping meals is a good way to lose weight. The fact is that your body needs a certain number of calories and nutrients each day to work properly. Skipping meals may also encourage you to snack more throughout the day.

Fish is part of a healthy diet. Although it has some fat and cholesterol, its levels are low. Fish is also a good source of protein. Always eat fish baked, broiled, or grilled - never fried.

It's a myth that nuts are fattening and you should not eat them to lose weight. The truth: although they can be high in calories and fat, nuts are low in unhealthy saturated fat, and are a good source of protein and fiber.

Need some healthy and quick breakfast ideas? Try low-fat yogurt with granola,oatmeal with low-fat milk, whole wheat toast with a small amount of peanut butter, or low-sugar cereal with low-fat milk."

Replace regular sod with diet soda - or water.  Try to drink an extra glass of water each day or a glass of water with every soda that you drink!

Put mustard or vinegar instead of butter and mayonnaise on sandwiches.  You can also replace regular salad dressing with fat-free or low-fat version.

Milk is an important part of our diet.  Try switching from 2 percent to 1 percent milk or even to skim milk.  If you eat cereal this is another way to cut down on calories.

Baking, broiling, and roasting are the healthiest ways to prepare lean meat.  Trim any visible fat before cooking, and cook in a non-stick pan and use nonstick spray to prevent the over-use of butter and oils.

Don't skip breakfast.  Eating in the morning gives your metabolism a good boost.  Try something quick like low-fat yogurt, whole wheat toast with a little peanut butter, or a low sugar cereal.

Before you head to your local grocery store, there are pre-shopping steps that can make your trip a whole lot easier, help you pick the most nutritious foods available, and help you save money to boot.  Keep these tips in mind to get started down the right aisle!

Know the layout of your store.  You'll move faster.

Check newspaper ads for foods on sale.  Use discount coupons only if they're for items you really buy.

Eat before shopping.  If you go to the store hungry, you're likely to buy things you don't really need.

Keep a list of foods you usually buy to compare regular and sales prices.

Read labels carefully for ingredient and nutrition information.

Go ahead and plan for leftovers.  It's a great time-saving technique for any busy cook.  Just be sure to double the amount of ingredients on your shopping list, too.

Use leftovers creatively in salads, stir-frys, soups, casseroles or sandwiches.

Stay healthy - Stay home.  It may seem like it takes less time to eat out, but that's not always true.  In fact, driving, ordering and waiting for your food often takes longer than cooking dinner.  You can spend the time calmly with your family instead of in a loud restaurant.

Put well-being and relaxation on the menu.  Setting aside 30 minutes to plan before grocery shopping can end up saving you lots of time, money and stress.

Choose what's good for you.  There are so many choices at the supermarket - good bad and in between.  Because eating well can conflict with convenience, it's important to have nutritious meals and snacks readily available:  whole wheat bread, crackers or bagels; peanut butter; light yogurt; low-fat cheese; tuna lunches to go all work.

Pack a not-so-plain brown bag.  When you pack lunches, adding variety will make them more interesting, as well as healthy.  Put something fun in the bag or nice note.

There are smarter ways to indulge.  Limit yourself to a small single-serve portion of a high-calorie, high fat food you crave or find an alternative.  Here are some ideas:                               You Crave  Smart Swap

  Potato Chips  Light microwave popcorn         Salted Peanuts  Lightly salted toasted soy nuts    Crackers filled with   Light, part-skim mozzarella stick      cheese spread        & 5 whole grain crackers       Chocolate chip cookies  Chocolate chunk biscotti  Chocolate cream pie  Low-fat chocolate pudding           Milk chocolate candy bar  Small chocolate granola bar      Sweet potato pie  Baked sweet potato          w/marshmallows         Creamed Spinach  Steamed spinach sprinkled with         parmesan cheese                 Fried chicken with skin  Baked chicken tenders                 Macaroni & cheese  Whole wheat pasta tossed with         olive oil & garlic

No need to diet, just slim down.  Sometimes a simple tweak can lead to significant weight loss over time.  Have an English muffin instead of a bagel.  Eat an orange & skip the juice, Control your condiments by eating mustard instead of mayo, instead of a roll eat your sandwich in a wrap and if you eat ice cream try very small portions.

Weight loss can't be forced on children.  Provide kids what they need, and take care not to make them feel worse.  A few good books include Teenage Waistland:  A Former Fat Kid Weighs in on Living Large, Losing Weigh and How Parents Can (and can't) Help by Abby Ellin and I'm, Like, So Fat! By Dianne Neumark-Sztainer.

With a little cooking instruction from parents plus help from convenience items, teens can provide a head start on dinner and learn skills they'll need when they are out on their own.  And they will be. Honest!

Using the slow cooker, making Mexican food, preparing a potato bar, cooking soup and making chili using a pack of seasoning are all meals that you can teach your teenager how to make. 

Let your children help you with your shopping list.  If they ask for a high fat or calorie item, ask them to think of an alternative.

Don't make your children feel guilty about their weight.  Be positive, be a role model, encourage them and help them find friends to help.  Teach your children to make smart choices during their day.

5 Foods that can add years to your life.  New research suggests that including a combination of antioxidants on your plate yields a more powerful advantage than eating any one type of antioxidant food alone.  Here are some suggestions:  Spirulina (blue-green algae), Cranberries,, blueberries or blackberries, Leafy greens (kale or spinach) Almonds and Walnuts, Flaxseed.

Focus your Vision - Foods for Sight!  Following are some foods that are good for your sight:  Spinach, Broccoli, Kale, Swiss Chard and Collards, Orange Fruits & Vegetables, Corn and Cold-Water Fish such as tuna, mackerel, sardines and salmon.

These are the four categories of cholesterol-lowering foods that helped lower "bad" cholesterol by 20 percent or more as part of a diet low in saturated fat.    Viscous Fiber:  This sticky type of soluble fiber found in oats,   barley , beans and certain vegetables such as okra and eggplant   helps bind cholesterol in your digestive tract and sweep out your   body.

  Soy Protein: Heart-healthy alternatives to higher-fat meats.  With   little or no saturated fat, they provide protein, fiber, "good" fats,   vitamins and minerals.

  Plant Sterols:  Compounds - typically extracted from soybeans or   certain vegetables - are so similar in structure to cholesterol that   they "compete" in our intestines.  That means less of the real   cholesterol is absorbed.  Check your labels such as OJ, yogurt,   cheese, salad dressings, granola bars and chocolate.

  Nuts: Eat a variety of nuts, including walnuts, which pack in the   most omega-3 fatty acids.  Snack on nuts instead of pretzels or   chips; toss chopped nuts into your oatmeal, salads and stir-fries

Make your own trail mix by adding cheerios, chex, raisins, pretzels, chocolate chips, and almonds.  Pre-pack snack mix in smaller ziploc bags for portion control.

For a super healthy treat, use bamboo skewers to make fruit kabobs with fresh grapes, berries, and pineapple.  Store the kabobs in the freezer on wax paper trays.

Do not permit your child to snack while watching TV.  This will encourage a habit of mindless munching and the TV will become a conditioned stimulus for food.

For another alternative to fish for Omega 3's...snack on some walnuts and almonds.  Both are rich in Omega 3 healthy fats.

Keep ready-to-go veggies such as baby carrots, celery sticks, and broccoli flowerettes in ziploc bags.  Make a healthier version of ranch dip by blending in nonfat cottage cheese.

Fast Breakfast - Stir in the following; 1 cubed apple, 1handful of blueberries, and lightly sprinkle with cinnamon.  That's it!  You can't believe how good it is.

Make a breakfast quesadilla with a flour tortilla, lowfat cheese, and scrambled eggs. Serve with salsa for dipping.

Easy Granola Parfait:  Take a clear parfait glass, fill with ½ cup granola, ½ cup vanilla yogurt, fresh berries, and repeat. This parfait is good anytime of the day!

Whole Grain Breakfast - Make basic oatmeal and add in sliced bananas, raisins, or your favorite nuts.  Oatmeal has been proven to be great for your heart and effective in reducing cholesterol.

Plan your breakfast the night before. It is a good habit to prepare the table with bowls, plates, and utensils and cereal for when you need a quick breakfast.

Get up 15 minutes earlier to eat. Whip up a quick smoothie that is protein rich with milk and full of fruit.

Breakfast eaters take in much less fat over the course of the day than non breakfast eaters. They also tend to have more fiber in their diets.

Tortilla rollups are so versatile for lunch. You can make peanut butter, raisin, and banana rollups or pizza rollups.  Remember to add carrot sticks and fruit instead of potato chips.

Stop making excuses for making lunch for school.  Just do it. A hungry child will eat whole grain bread, lean turkey, fruit salad, and raisins.

Try a high protein lunch with lowfat tuna salad, bean salad, and whole grain crackers. Remember to drink water instead of soda with your meal for better digestion.

Go green. Eat more salads by starting with romaine lettuce and tossing in cooked chicken, turkey or low-fat cheese.

When slicing vegetables for dinner, cut some extras and enjoy them the next day as a snack for home or at work.

Get the kids to partner to help you cook, so you combine family time with a task.  Let them pick a favorite recipe.

Why not go "meatless" on 1 or 2 dinners a week?  Try beans & rice, pasta & veggies, or soup & salad?

Roast or grill vegetables for heartier flavor, and then serve them as side dishes or sandwich filling atop crusty bread.

Making gradual changes toward healthier dinners?  Designate two healthy nights such as steamed/baked night and soup /salad night.  These dinners are easy to prepare ahead for those nights when you have lots of school activities.

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