There's so much more to good health than focusing on those nagging numbers on the scale. Maintaining a healthy weight is important but for overall well-being, good nutrition is happily more about what we're putting on our plates, not what we're taking away.
More than ever nutrition research points us toward the whole foods we should be adding to our diet to help us feel, perform and look our best. From vitamin A to the mineral zinc, nutrients put the shine in our hair, sparkle in our eyes, glow in our skin and pep in our step! Fortunately for foodies, that includes smart ways to add a touch of salty and sweet to create delicious and nutritious recipes. Here are some tips for happy and healthy mealtime makeovers.
Use salt, sugar, and fat with care. Good cooks don't overseason. Let the natural flavors of ingredients shine. In Georgia, Vidalia onions can add a touch of sweetness to sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, so there's no need to add a lot of honey to the honey mustard dressing. Find flavor without salt, fat or sugar when you add a squeeze of lemon, dash of hot sauce or sprinkling of minced herbs.
Make Plants the Star
They key is making plant foods the star of the show and that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and pulses such as beans, peas and lentils. For those who eat meats, that's fine too. But beef, pork, chicken and other animal proteins should be the supporting actors, not the lead.
OMG! Don't Forget Omega-3s
The fats in fish oils are in the 'good for you' Omega-3 family associated with supporting our hearts, brains and eyes. Wow, that's three more reasons to go out for sushi!
The current U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend we eat at least two (3.5 ounce) servings of fatty fish per week, such as salmon or tuna. White-fleshed fish such as tilapia and cod are good for you too because they contain lean protein, but are not a good source of Omega-3's. If you don't like fatty fish you can choose eggs and juices with added Omega-3s or take a supplement.
Here's a zingy recipe for Glazed Salmon with Stir-Fried Vegetables to boost your Omega-3s and compliments for being a good cook!
There's a pace and grace to living happily that dovetails nicely with nutrition advice to slow down a bit and savor the flavors of foods. Turns out that gobbling and guzzling aren't all that figure friendly.
A study conducted at the University of Rhode Island found that women consumed 70 fewer calories and were more satisfied when they ate a meal at a slower pace. That's more good advice to be happy and healthy. Let's celebrate with a little dessert. Again, fresh produce plays a featured role in Baked Pears with Toasted Oat Topping. All recipes are from Carolyn O'Neil's "The Slim Down South Cookbook: Eating Well and Living Healthy in the Land of Biscuits and Bacon" published by Oxmoor House.