Nutrition 110: 10 Tips I use for making healthy food choices - Part 1

Here are 10 Tips I keep in mind for making healthy food choices for overall healthy eating!

1. Bottled Juices = High Sugar:
     -  even the fruit and veggie blends. Best to juice your own fruits and veggies

2. Some Protein/Meal Replacement/Food Bars contain high calories, sugar and/or fat:
     -  Read the labels and when possible stay below double digits in sugar and fat and at or under 200 calories (120 – 150 is a good range for a snack). Find what will suit your nutritional and fitness needs

3. Eat lots of veggies (raw, lightly steamed or baked):
     -  it’s almost impossible to over eat veggies so help yourself but easy on the salt and other cooking condiments. Avoid canned veggies, these contain high sodium and preservatives. Use fresh or frozen (organic if possible)

4. Avoid gravies, cream sauces and dressings – including creamy soups:
     -  these usually contain high fat, calories, and sodium

5. Flavored Yogurts = High Sugar:
     -  2 servings = same or more sugar than a can of coca cola, instead have plain low-fat yogurt or even better plain non-fat Greek yogurt. For flavor add a fresh fruit serving or a tsp. of a low sugar (organic) fruit preserve

6. Nut butters should only contain 2 or 3 ingredients:
     -  Example: Peanut Butter - ingredients: peanuts, salt, and possibly safflower or palm oil). Natural and Organic Smucker’s OR Natural and Organic Laura Scuffer’s are good choices. Read the labels, avoid anything with hydrogenated oils.

7. Low-Calorie, Low-Fat, Fat-Free, Sugar-Free etc. packaged foods - including frozen meals and dry packaged snacks among others:
     -  chances are if it’s sugar-free it contains artificial sweeteners or the fat/calorie grams are high, if it’s fat-free then calorie/sugar grams are probably high, if it’s low-calorie then the sugar/fat grams are probably high. Best to eat whole foods when possible and always read labels when eating packaged foods. Caution: carbs /sodium tend to be high in packaged foods and are full of preservatives that can make you gain weight.

8. Avoid Soda even Diet Soda:
     -  They are just empty calories, they do not help you feel full or satisfied and only make you gain weight. Diet sodas are no better, they contain high sodium which causes your body to retain water and look bloated.

9. Mayo/Mayonnaise:
     -  Mayonnaise is full of fat and has many hidden calories. Even lite mayonnaise is unhealthy and fattening. Use Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt as a substitute and increase healthy nutritional value in the process. Mix plain nonfat greek yogurt + mustard (honey mustard, Dijon mustard, horseradish mustard, etc.) for an even tastier mayonnaise substitution

10. Cheese:
     -  A little bit of cheese is good for you but cheese that is made with whole milk contains a lot of fat and many types of cheeses contain salt and preservatives. Some options for cheeses to eat in moderation – check serving sizes: Neufchatel Cream Cheese, Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, Low-Fat Ricotta Cheese, Parmesan, Cottage Cheese, Swiss

Next time you are grocery shopping or eating out keep these tips in mind to help you make better and healthier food choices. Always remember to read labels and exersice your will-power muscle in portion control and food selections.

- Mir BQ