10 tips for eating healthier

Posted: Tuesday, April 08, 2003

1. Eat less margarine, better shortening and oil. These items are a big waste of calories and sometimes promote heart disease. Instead, choose low-fat or nonfat margarine. On toast try honey or jam instead of artery-clogging butter. Avoid frying foods like fish and chicken.

2. Toss the yolks. Yolks contain almost a day's worth of cholesterol. Make morning breakfast with egg white or egg substitutes. In recipes calling for eggs, replace one whole egg with two egg whites.

3. Go nonfat with dairy. Switch from whole milk to skim or 1 percent milk. Go for the low-fat or fat-free version of cheese, cream cheese and yogurt. Try low-fat frozen yogurt instead of whole milk ice cream.

4. Get going with whole grains. They not only add flavor to your diet, but also provide more vitamins, minerals and fiber. Switch from white to wheat bread. Look for long grain brown rice instead of plain white. For breakfast, think about cereals with shredded wheat, bran flakes or oatmeal.

5. Eat less meat. Red meat is a major source of saturated fat and cholesterol. Diets made up largely of meat have been linked to cancer of the colon and prostate. Try pizza topped with vegetables instead of meat toppings, give veggieburgers a chance, and if you eat meat think lean. Go for carefully trimmed tenderloin or white meat from chicken or turkey.

6. Fill up on vegetables. The National Cancer Institute recommends eating at least five to nine half-cup servings of vegetables a day. Try eating them raw for snacks or steaming or sauteeing them for a main course or side dish.

7. Stop using salt. replace you salt shaker with an herb shaker. Avoid processed foods unless they say "low-salt" or "no-salt added." Processed foods provide up to 75 percent of the sodium in the average diet.

8. Snack on fruit. Fruit is sweet and delicious and often provides essential vitamins and minerals. Eat fruit in between meals instead of junk food. Fruit can even be eaten for dessert.

9. Minimize sugar intake. Sugar is a waste of calories. Soft drinks are loaded with hollow calories from sugar. Try drinking fruit juice, milk or water instead. Try artificial sweeteners in coffee and tea. Stay away from candy, cookies, cake and pie.

10. Avoid fast food. Bring a healthy lunch to work instead of going out for a greasy burgers and fries. If you do eat out try a salad with low-fat dressing as a healthy alternative.

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