Sunday, November 3, 2013

Top Ten Diet Tips From Dietitians (cont.)

Last week we discussed some diet tips from dietitians.  Here are 5 more tips from the nutrition experts.
6.  Eat more Fruits and Vegetables
I always tell my students to eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day, minimum.  The World Health Organization recommends nine servings a day.  But 5 is a start for most people.  It is really hard for some people to get used to eating 2 fruits/vegetables at lunch or dinner.  I was just reviewing some lunch and dinner menus my students planned for a 4 year old.  Even though the meals were supposed to comply with MyPlate, very few students served the child 2 fruits and vegetables at lunch and dinner.  So get in the habit of having 2 fruits and vegetables at lunch and dinner. Fruits and vegetables are not only packed with vitamins and minerals, they also offer the antioxidants that have so many beneficial health effects. 
Packing lunch – include 2 fruits/vegetables in lunches.  Pack carrot sticks, apples, grapes, celery sticks, green or red pepper slices. 
Dinner – try for 2 vegetables at every dinner.  Having potatoes at dinner, then have a lighter second vegetable such as green beans.  Or have fruit for dessert, or fruit as a side dish such as cut up watermelon, cut up cantaloupe. 
7.  Save Alcohol for Weekends
Kathleen Zelman, R.D. who writes for WebMD, recommends saving alcohol for weekends.  She notes alcohol calories can add up quickly.  She recommends limiting alcohol to the weekends and then only 1-2 drinks. 
8.   Make Your After Dinner Drink – Decaf or Tea
Enjoy a hot tea or decaf after dinner and you may be able to forgo the dessert.  An hour or so after dinner, make that cup of decaf to enjoy. 
9.  Munch on Produce Before Dinner
Got the munchies before dinner is ready?   My husband munches on hummus and carrot slices before dinner.  Or cut up some vegetables and fruit and have these out as a pre-dinner snack.  Munch on broccoli, carrots with some low fat Ranch dressing. 
10.  Count Your Colors
The senior nutritionist at the Cancer Project in Washington, D.C. recommends you count your colors at meals and aim for 4 colors.  Why?  It seems each of the different colors in fruits and vegetables offers different antioxidants and flavonoids, thus providing different health benefits.  To enjoy all these health benefits, each fruits and vegetables of different colors.  (Read more about colors from my blog post, Why Colorful Foods Are Important to Your Health)
I hope you enjoyed these tips from various dietitians.  If you can’t incorporate all these tips into your diet, try for one or two.  Or try to add one tip a week.  Let me know how these work for you.
Image source:    Hummus and Vegetables

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