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Nutrition Tips

March 16th, 2004

If you’re like most Americans, eating is like breathing - it happens frequently and without much thinking. Poor nutrition is at least half of what’s behind America’s record, belt-busting waistline (the other half being a lack of exercise).

Nutrition Tips

Too many calories, too much fat and not enough fruits and vegetables are the most common dietary deficiencies. But with just a little effort, reforming your diet can help you lose weight while steering clear of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

The following tips can help you make the little changes that deliver big results.
  • Eating isn’t the only way to absorb excess calories. Drinking alcoholic beverages and sugar-packed sodas can bring them in to. Switch to water, unsweetened tea, coffee or 100% fruit / vegetable juices.

  • 3 to 4 servings of dairy products a day is a good idea, but they can carry a lot of fat. Try buying reduced fat cheeses, nonfat yogurts and skim milk. If skim doesn’t taste quite right at first, transition yourself from whole milk to 2% to 1% and then try skim.

  • Get into the habit of trying new foods. Variety is the spice of life, and it’s healthy.

  • You should get 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. But what’s a serving? Does the lettuce on a Big Mac count? According to the Centers for Disease Control a serving is one of the following: 6 fluid ounces of 100% fruit or vegetable juice, 1/2 cup cooked or canned vegetables / fruit, 1 cup raw, leafy vegetables, 1/2 cup of peas or beans or 1/4 cup dried fruit.

  • When you’re looking to snack, you often go for what see first; make sure to keep a bowl of fruit on the countertop, or vegetables right up front in your refrigerator.

  • When you’re preparing pasta, skip the heavy cream sauces and go for tomato-based sauces instead - they’re much lower in fat and calories.

  • Eating out can be a nutritional minefield. It can seem easier to just get what’s on the menu rather than what you know is best. Don’t be afraid to ask for your order to be specially prepared, or to ask for something that’s not even on the menu. Go with your gut, restaurants stay in business by making customers happy.

  • If you’re eating out with friends, share an appetizer or desert instead of getting a full one - that way, you share the calories too.

  • Work fish into your diet at least once a week. Compared to meat and poultry, it’s light, low-fat and easy to prepare.

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