Most people know the basic rules of healthy eating: load up on fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. However, what many may not know is that the choices that they are making on a daily basis may not be as healthy as they perceive them to be. Many foods are loaded with hidden calories that are only discovered later, when they appear on your waistline. Your favorite dishes don’t need to be full of calories in order to be full of flavor. There are simple strategies your can implement in order to cut calories and improve your health.
Learn to eat the best and leave the rest with these 17 healthy eating tips:
- Preserve the nutrients and colors in vegetables by quickly steaming or stir-frying.
- Use herbs, vinegar, tomatoes, onions and fat-free or low-fat sauces or salad dressings if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
- Make a smoothie and you can get 4-5 servings of fruit in one yummy shake.
- Prepared seasonings can have high salt content and increase your risk for high blood pressure. Replace salt with herbs and spices or some of the salt-free seasoning mixes.
- Canned, processed and preserved vegetables often have very high sodium content. Opt for the low-sodium option or try the freezer aisle. If you must buy canned veggies, rinse them under cold water to reduce the level of sodium.
- When you make a stew, soup, or gravy, refrigerate leftovers and skim off the fat with a spoon before reheating and serving.
- Use lemon instead of butter on steamed veggies for minimal calories and added flavor.
- Dip celery into your favorite salsa or hummus in lieu of tortilla chips to save calories.
- Use fat-free Greek yogurt as a healthful replacement for sour cream.
- Select lean cuts of beef and pork, especially those with loin or round.
- Use ripe well-mashed bananas in place of butter or oil when preparing muffins and quick breads in order to reduce the calories and saturated fat.
- Use fat-free or 1% milk instead of whole milk in order to decrease the number of fat and calories in your recipes. For extra creaminess, try fat-free half-and-half or evaporated skim milk.
- Add body to soups and sauces with pureed vegetables instead of heavy cream, evaporated milk, butter or cheese.
- When a recipe calls for a significant amount of crumbled cheese such as feta or ricotta, substitute half the amount with reduced-fat cottage cheese.
- Make salad dressings with olive, walnut, or pecan oil.
- Eat a medium orange instead of drinking 12 oz. of fresh orange juice in the morning and save 106 calories.
- Substitute two egg whites for a whole egg in recipes in order to cut cholesterol.
While eating healthy can be a daunting task, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, your body is the only place you live. And, if the prospect of better health and longevity isn’t enough motivation, protecting your health could ultimately lower your insurance premiums as well. Check back here next week for SelectQuote’s ideas promoting a healthy lifestyle!