Monday, May 28, 2012

Healthy Foods You Already Love!

Do you flip-flop over what you think you like and what you think you should eat?
Win-Wins for Taste and Health

There’s no need to choke down chia seeds, develop a taste for tofu or eat any other foods wearing a trendy health halo if you don’t really like the taste of them. Choosing foods to improve the quality of your diet should start with recognizing what you’re already doing right. Do you add blueberries to yogurt or snack on a few pecans? You’re upping your intake of disease fighting antioxidants. Do you like to carry bottled water in your car? You’re more likely to stay hydrated and not confuse thirst for hunger. Do you go for the mustard and go light on the mayo when ordering sandwiches? You’re choosing big taste without big calories.
 Anytime you add more vegetables to a meal, use less cheese, choose leaner meats, grab the whole grain version of breads and go easy on the butter and oil-you’re right in step with the list of things to do to eat a healthier diet.
So rather than convincing you to try – chick pea cakes with flax seed granola (which I just made up but might actually taste good!)- or some other super nutritious sounding food let’s celebrate some of the dishes you may already be enjoying but, might not have known how healthy they really are.
Win-win for Taste and Health
Why not add some chopped fruit to your Guac?

  • Gaucamole- Since the main ingredient is avocado guacamole is a good source of heart healthy mono-unsaturated fats. The impressive list of nutrients in avocados includes fiber, potassium, Vitamin E and folic acid. Of course, where there’s fat; there are calories. One ounce of avocado, which is 2 tablespoons of mashed or two to three thin slices contains about 50 calories. But compared to two tablespoons of butter at 200 calories you can see why using avocado as a spread is a healthy idea. The mix of chopped tomato, onion, cilantro and jalapeno added to avocado to make guacamole actually lowers the calories and increases the fiber and vitamin content even more per bite. Just make sure not to eat too many fried tortilla chips (6 large- 130 calories). Enjoy with torn pieces of one corn tortilla instead (70 calories).  Or better yet with carrots, celery or jicama – a super crunchy and slightly sweet root vegetable popular in Latin cuisines. 
BBQ Chicken Flatbread!

  • BBQ Chicken – Here’s the bottom line if you’re aiming to reduce your bottom line or waistline - batter and deep fry a five ounce chicken breast and you’re chomping on 500 calories. But, if same size chicken breast is dressed up in barbecue sauce instead you choice is 350 calories – a 150 calorie saving. Want some more sauce to moisten the meat at the table? Most barbecue sauces contain only 15 calories per tablespoon. (The sweeter, thicker ones will be higher in calories.)
Seafood dishes are win-wins for taste and health
even with pasta if you choose a tomato based sauce.

  • Peel ‘n Eat Shrimp- The USDA’s My Plate dietary recommendations suggest we eat fish and shellfish at least twice a week to mix up our protein choices and consume seafood’s heart healthy Omega-3 fats. Shrimp are exceptionally low in fat and calories, especially if you keep them that way by enjoying boiled shrimp (¼ pound of boiled shrimp-112 calories, 1 gram fat) instead of fried (274 calories, 15 grams fat). Peel ‘n Eat Shrimp are often boiled with a spicy seasoning so all you need is a squeeze of lemon and you’re ready to dig in. And since all that peeling takes some time, it slows you down a bit so you’re more likely to keep portions in control. (Yes, shrimp contain some cholesterol, but because they are so low in total fat they’re considered a healthy choice.)
Hangar steak ( I'd skip the ball of herb butter) is a lean and flavorful choice .

  • Sirloin Steak- If you’re going out for a steak dinner ordering a sirloin steak can help you save on both your food dollar budget and your fat and calorie budget. Not as pricey as filet mignon or porterhouse, the sirloin cut is one of the leanest. A six-ounce top sirloin steak, strip steak, flank steak or London broil has about 300 calories and about ten grams of fat. Splurge on the same size serving of prime rib or rib eye and you’re looking at an additional 100 calories 10 grams of fat per serving. Want some sauce with that? 2 tablespoons of steak sauce-30 calories vs. 2 tablespoons Béarnaise sauce-120 calories. Better yet enjoy steak with sautéed onions and mushrooms and you’re adding more vegetables to your steak dinner.

Sushi is a win-win for taste and health, just avoid the "sushi" with cream cheese
 or other "don't think they eat this in Japan" stuff.
  • Spring Rolls- No, not the deep fried egg roll kind- sorry. But, you can dig in and enjoy the Tai basil rolls popular on many restaurant menus, today. Wrapped in chilled rice paper and filled with fresh veggies and maybe bits of shrimp or chicken they’re a low calorie, high fiber finger food full of crunch and flavors. Low calorie dipping sauces range from sweet and spicy to pungent fish sauces.
  • Gelato- La dolce vita! Italian gelatos are commonly made with milk not cream so are lower in fat and calories than ice creams. But the real plus for a portion control conscious sweet tooth is that gelato is usually served in a dainty half-cup serving. Enjoy sliced strawberries, blueberries or summer’s sweet mango as a topping and you’re adding a fruit serving to your dairy dessert.

Banana gelato sounds great! And apparently  you can use the banana peels to make a pair of shoes!

1 comment:

Minnie(@thelady8home) said...

The photographs going with your article turns me into a drooling foodie haha.