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Eating well

OPTIONS TO HELP PROMOTE OPTIMAL HEALTH

The new year can bring resolutions of getting healthier. Often that involves a renewed dedication to workout routines or finally taking the initiative to exercise more. But new eating habits can help you maintain your overall health.

NOURISHING SNACKS

When you need a quick bite, but don’t want to grab something unhealthy (stay away from the inviting potato chips) the American Heart Association suggests choosing pretzels or low-fat potato chips (with reduced sodium).

Try baked tortilla chips: they are better than fried tortilla chips. 

Looking to cool off? Try frozen fruit bars instead of ice cream. 

Low-sugar, whole-grain granola bars with 3 grams of fiber, or a handful of unsalted or lightly salted dry-roasted nuts are tasty and healthy snacks, according to WebMd. 

Low-calorie oatmeal cookies are a good snack. A recipe at wellplated.com replaces half the amount of butter with applesauce. Honey is a great sweetener.

COOK A HEARTY DINNER

There are plenty of healthy ideas for dinner time. Instead of a cup of whole milk, try a cup of fat-free or low-fat milk and a tablespoon of liquid vegetable oil.

The American Heart Association said instead of a tablespoon of butter, use a tablespoon of soft margarine or ¾ tablespoon of liquid vegetable oil. 

Low-fat unsalted cottage cheese and low-fat yogurt are alternatives for sour cream. 

Instead of bread crumbs, the Mayo Clinic says to substitute rolled oats or crushed bran cereal. If a recipe calls for eggs, use two egg whites or a ¼ cup egg substitute for each whole egg. 

A recipe for grilled salmon sliders is a healthy option, suggested by skinnyms.com. The tasty recipe calls for parsley, sweet onion, roma tomatoes and romaine lettuce and whole-wheat slider buns. It’s a yummy dish good for protein and increased nutrients. 

TREAT YOURSELF TO A NIGHT OUT

 It’s always nice to have someone else prepare your meal. Eating out can still mean eating healthy.

To get started, don’t order soups that are creamed-based; instead the American Heart Association said to try broth-based soups with vegetables. 

A veggie burger is a good option for an entree. French fries are yummy and tempting, but as your side a better choice is a baked potato, brown rice or steamed vegetables. 

Fish is a healthy option, including tuna, grilled fish fillet or salmon. If you are worried about high cholesterol or diabetes, stay away from dishes that are fried, buttered or creamed. 

The healthiest choices include dishes that are baked, grilled, poached or steamed. 

Even pizza can be enjoyed. Order a thin crust and add some vegetable toppings, but not meat. Ask for half the cheese. 

Need food on the go? Go for a grilled chicken sandwich or a Southwest salad with chicken.

INDULGE IN DESSERT 

Yum. Dessert! You can certainly enjoy healthy options. Dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate, eatthis.com said, noting cocoa flavanols help lower blood pressure. 

For something lighter, try nonfat yogurt or sherbet, the American Heart Association said.

A delicious chocolate cake recipe at eatingwell.com suggests using canola oil, nonfat butter milk and whole-wheat pastry flour, which is lower in protein than whole-wheat flour.

These suggestions can help you eat well and stay healthy.

Benefits of healthy eating

Here are a few reasons why it's smart to eat well:

  • Helps keeps skin, teeth, and eyes healthy

  • Boosts immunity

  • Strengthens bones

  • Lowers risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers

  • Helps the digestive system function

  • Supports muscles

 

Source: CDC.GOV