he healthy 100: Small changes can give a big boost to your well-being

The healthy 100: Small changes can give a big boost to your well-being

By Chris Rosenbloom
Posted on Wed, Jun. 14, 2006
Cox News Service

Here are 100 of the simplest and most practical tips around for healthful eating — small changes that can yield big results if we incorporate them into our daily routine.

Tips to sneak in more fruits and vegetables

1. Toss chopped broccoli, zucchini or carrots into the boiling water as you cook pasta.

2. Top a sandwich with piles of baby spinach leaves.

3. Add dried fruit to your morning breakfast cereal.

4. Keep bags of frozen fruit in the freezer, and use to top plain cake for dessert.

5. Add grated vegetables to tuna, chicken or egg salad.

6. Top potatoes or chicken breasts with salsa.

7. Visit the Web site www.cancer.org/eatright for creative ideas to eat more fruits and veggies.

Tips for increasing fiber

8. Eat an apple for an afternoon snack.

9. Choose breads with 100 percent whole grains.

10. Top casseroles with rolled oats instead of bread crumbs.

11. Mix a high-fiber cereal with your favorite ready-to-eat cereal.

12. Try fat-free refried beans in a whole-wheat tortilla.

13. Choose lentil soup instead of chicken noodle; a cup of lentil soup has 7 grams of fiber.

14. Add baked beans to the cookout menu; beans are a great source of fiber.

15. Eat fruit instead of drinking fruit juice.

16. Grind flax seeds to provide fiber and healthy fats called alpha-linolenic acids; add to your cereal or a smoothie.

17. Slice berries into yogurt or use to top a frozen dairy dessert.

Tips to fuel an active lifestyle

18. Drink plenty of water before, during and after activity to prevent dehydration.

19. Eat plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables for carbohydrates, but there's no need to carbo-load for recreational activities.

20. Extra vitamins or minerals won't burn more calories or increase performance; you can get all the nutrients you need from a healthy diet.

Tips for smart snacking

21. Drink a yogurt smoothie.

22. Try light cheese wedges with whole-grain crackers.

23. Snack on microwave popcorn; it's a whole grain.

24. Keep snacking portions small, and choose nutrient-rich snacks.

25. Grab a handful of animal crackers and carton of fat-free milk.

26. Try pudding snacks for a sweet snack.

27. A handful of almonds midafternoon can curb your appetite.

Tips to keep your food and family safe

28. Buy a refrigerator thermometer, and keep your fridge at 40 degrees .

29. Toss foods that are past the expiration date.

30. When in doubt, throw it out.

31. Replace sponges with dishcloths.

32. Use a bleach solution to clean countertops.

33. Don't forget to throw an ice pack in the lunch bag. Or freeze a bottle of water or juice to keep lunch cold.

34. Wash all produce with cool tap water before eating; don't use soap or detergents.

35. Keep two cutting boards: one for meat and one for produce.

36. Discard the marinade used for meats or boil it for a full minute before serving.

37. Check the following Web sites for food safety information: www.homefoodsafety.org, www.fightbac.org.

38. Thoroughly reheat leftovers in the microwave to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Tips for eating out

39. Choose your entree from the appetizer list.

40. Select grilled, blackened or baked chicken or fish instead of fried.

41. Ask for sauce and salad dressing served on the side.

42. Don't be shy about asking how food is prepared.

43. Ask for a doggie bag at the beginning of the meal, and save half to take home.

44. Consider splitting an entree with a friend.

45. Choose restaurants that have at least a few healthful options on the menu.

46. When ordering pizza, pass on the high-fat meat toppings, and pile on the vegetables. If you have to have meat, try Canadian bacon.

Tips to manage your weight

47. Switch to fat-free milk if you use whole or 2 percent, and save 45 to 72 calories in every 8-ounce serving.

48. Grill fish instead of burgers.

49. Weigh yourself every morning, or regularly enough to monitor changes and adjust your eating patterns before the pounds get out of control.

50. Eat only two-thirds of what is on your plate.

51. Learn to cook by watching the Food Network or taking a cooking class; many hospitals have wellness centers that offer healthy cooking classes.

52. Monitor liquid calories. Besides soda, calories from juice and alcohol can add up.

53. Make substitutions, not sacrifices, by finding alternatives to high-fat foods.

54. Bake or broil foods instead of frying; when sauteing, use only a tiny amount of oil. All oils contain about 120 calories per tablespoon.

55. Eat small meals throughout the day; just remember to keep portions small.

56. Eat a larger volume of food without increasing calories by including salads and soups with meals.

Tips to reduce your risk of chronic disease

57. Use olive oil and canola oil in cooking to keep your heart healthy.

58. Eat yogurt with active cultures to help boost your immune system.

59. Enjoy small portions of dark chocolate; it contains flavonoids that help prevent disease.

60. Snack on nuts; nuts contain heart-healthy fats, vitamin E and minerals such as selenium and magnesium that are low in our diets.

61. Read food labels for sodium content; aim for no more than 2,400 milligrams a day.

62. Eat foods with dark colors: Red, green, blue and purple foods contain disease-fighting compounds.

63. Eat fish rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids: salmon, trout, albacore tuna and herring.

64. Switch to brown rice from white rice to boost fiber and fight diabetes.

65. Eat foods with soluble fiber to lower cholesterol: oatmeal, dry beans, barley and apples.

66. Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, but aim for nine servings.

67. Include more potassium-rich foods that lower high-blood pressure: baked white or sweet potatoes, yogurt, bananas, orange or tomato juice.

68. Cooked tomato products, such as tomato sauce, tomato paste and marinara sauce, contain lycopene, a chemical that may protect against prostate cancer.

69. If you drink, choose red wine for its anti-oxidants, those disease-fighting chemicals that combat heart disease and some cancers.

Tips for serious athletes

70. Never try a new food right before a competition.

71. Drink low-fat chocolate milk after you lift weights; the combination of protein and carbohydrates helps speed amino acids to muscles.

72. Drink something like Boost or Ensure for a quick, easy-to-digest meal if you have a very early morning workout.

73. Never try a weight-loss plan during your sport season.

74. During long bouts of exercise, drink 5 to 10 ounces of water or sports drink every 20 to 30 minutes.

75. Eat a bagel, snack crackers, energy bar, fruit yogurt or fig bars in the hour after exercise to help speed the resynthesis of muscle glycogen.

76. If you cramp, drink more fluids and eat more salty foods.

77. Keep a small bag of pretzels or an energy bar in your gym bag for those times when you need a pre- or post-workout snack.

78.Find a sports dietitian at www.scandpg.org.

Tips to feed the teen machine

79. Encourage dairy foods to boost calcium intake because the teen years are critical for bone formation.

80. Make your kids eat breakfast every day; it helps if Mom and Dad eat breakfast, too.

81. Stock the freezer with whole-grain waffles and pancakes, muffins, English muffins and bagels for a quick breakfast.

82. Cut up a mixture of fresh fruit, and stash it in the refrigerator for a healthy after-school snack.

83. Review the school menus with your kids, and let them decide which days to buy lunch and which days to pack lunch.

84. Buy a large jar of peanut butter, and have plenty of whole-wheat bread for sandwiches; try apple butter or 100 percent fruit spread instead of jelly.

85. Teach your teens to cook, and encourage them to be responsible for one meal each week.

86. Try adding a can of drained vegetables (corn, peas, beans) to a can of vegetable or chicken noodle soup to boost nutrients.

Tips on raising healthy babies

87. Be a healthy mom; get plenty of folic acid before and during your pregnancy. This B vitamin is found in leafy green vegetables and is added to enriched grains.

88. Introduce solid foods at 4 to 6 months of age.

89. Start your baby on vegetables so he/she will learn to like the taste.

90. Introduce only one new food at a time with at least a week in between new foods.

91. Don't give babies adult-size portions.

92. Eat meals as a family to instill good nutrition habits.

93. Try introducing mild-tasting foods first (carrots, peas or green beans) instead of stronger-tasting ones like broccoli or cauliflower.

94. Give your kids pieces of rotisserie chicken instead of fast-food nuggets.

Tips for finding nutrition resources

95.Track your eating habits with www.mypyramid.gov.

96. Find a dietitian at www.eatright.org.

97. Learn to read nutrition labels by visiting the Web site of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/foodlab.html .

98. Check out the Web sites of organizations such as the American Dietetic Association (www.eatright.org ), the American Heart Association ( www.americanheart.org) or the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org), and visit their bookstores for cookbooks and reference books.

99. Subscribe to a healthy cooking magazine such as Cooking Light or Eating Well.

100. Check out newsletters such as Nutrition Action, Environmental Nutrition or the Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

Chris Rosenbloom is a nutrition professor at Georgia State University, a registered dietitian and a former spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

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