Eat This, Not That

Have you ever caught yourself staring at a menu and not knowing what to pick? You know you want to eat healthy but you’re battling with cravings and knowing what choices are actually healthier. We are faced with so many decisions day to day it can be overwhelming. On top of that, there are endless health claims that only make it more confusing; “made with whole grain”, “supports heart health”, “super food”. When it’s time to make the call, we want to help you make the right one. This article will take the stress out of making healthy selections.

Eat oatmeal, not bagels.1
Oatmeal has soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol and keeps you fuller longer, and if prepared with almond milk it’s also low-fat. Bagels are loaded with calories and refined, processed flour. Don’t expect a bagel to keep those hunger pangs at bay.

Eat nuts, not chips.
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Nuts are a great source of fiber and healthy fats, which will stay with you longer than other snack foods. Just be sure to measure the portion size so you don’t go overboard. Chips are salty and full of unhealthy fat. To make matters worse they really don’t fill you up.

Eat homemade salad dressing, not bottled salad dressing. 3
When you control what’s in your food, you know what’s in it. You control the salt, fat, preservatives, dyes, etc. Making salad dressing takes mere minutes. 1. Add some healthy fat like extra virgin olive oil, lemon or vinegar, and spices. 2. Shake it up. 3. Eat delicious salad. Many bottled salad dressings add way too much salt, fat, and sugar. You may even find MSG and other additives in the ingredient list.

Eat stir fry, not fried rice.4
A stir fry should be overflowing with vegetables like peppers, broccoli, and snap peas and topped with some healthy protein like chicken or fish. You can serve it with some quinoa for extra protein. If you order this out, get the sauce on the side or ask for no sauce. Fried rice is over-the-top with fat and salt. You have to use a magnifying glass to find the vegetables in there, if there are any.

Eat frozen fruits, not ice cream.
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My mom always had a bowl of grapes in the freezer. They were such a great sweet treat, especially when it’s hot. They kick that sweet craving and give you fiber, vitamins and minerals without all the calories in a typical dessert. Ice cream: I know I don’t need to tell you it’s not good for you. I know it tastes good, but do you really get the bang for your buck here? A ½ cup portion of ice cream can have over 250 calories depending on the brand. And who eats only a ½ cup? Trust me, go with the fruit.

Eat chop salad, not Caesar salad.
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Look at the ingredients. Most chop salads have an assortment of interesting vegetables. They are so colorful and colors = different nutrients. Variety is a great thing when it comes to produce. We can sometimes get stuck in a rut and eat the same things. Chop salads will help you mix it up. Always get the dressing on the side or just oil and vinegar so you can control the dressing. You can also be one of those people that pull your own dressing out of your bag. I’m not above it. Caesar salad is almost a guaranteed calorie bomb. It’s made with oil, cheese, eggs or mayonnaise… need I say more? That dressing is tossed on some measly romaine lettuce and greasy croutons (more fat). Where are all the colors?

Drink green juice, not fruit juice.
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Take a minute and consider how many oranges it takes to get a glass of orange juice. Would you ever eat that many oranges at one time? I didn’t think so. Fruit juices are primarily sugar. Eat your fruits so you get the nutrients and fiber in the complete package. All juices are not created equal though. It is a challenge to get all your greens during the day, so green juices can be a quick fix when you don’t have time to eat your spinach, kale, or watercress. Buyers beware though. Look at the ingredient list so you know you are getting greens and not apple juice concentrate or some other filler. Your best bet is to make it yourself, but let’s be realistic; sometimes it’s just not possible. To make that green juice have real staying power consider adding Shake Shake Shake to make it a great source of protein too.

 

Anastasia Conover MS, RD, CSR

Anastasia Conover graduated from West Chester University with a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She continued her education receiving a Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. Now she teaches nutrition classes, does nutrition counseling, and develops healthy recipes and diets to help people reach their health and wellness goals. She also devotes her time to community outreach focusing on kidney disease education.

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