Spring clean your diet with these helpful, healthy eating tips

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 7, 2017

If one of your goals this spring is to eat healthier, then cutting down on the following foods is a great place to start.

• Processed foods, sauces, condiments and salad dressings can contain extra sodium/salt, sugar and fat.

• Snack foods like cookies, chips and other munchies are often high in calories and fat, and provide little nutritional values.

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To fuel your body with good nutrition, add these foods to your diet:

Fresh fruits and veggies. Take advantage of the fresh produce this season has to offer

and add more of these nutrient-dense foods to your diet: avocado, berries, cherries, leafy greens such as arugula, chard, spinach and watercress, seeds and fresh pears.
Nuts/Seeds. These foods are sources of protein, fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, as well minerals. Studies suggest that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats in a healthy diet can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels.
Yogurt. This low-fat food is great for breakfast or a snack. It contains protein, calcium and vitamin D. Many yogurts contain beneficial probiotic bacteria that may help to support digestive health. Choose plain, low-fat or low-fat Greek style yogurt and add your own fresh fruit.

Simple dietary changes will help you move into spring in a healthier way. Take advantage of the longer daylight, warmer weather and add some outdoor physical activities (examples: such as walking, playing ball, swimming or biking) to your day and enjoy the path to optimal health.

Smarter Substitutions

Cut calories, fat and sodium with these easy substitutions:

Chips – may be high in fat, sodium and calories; instead choose low-fat popcorn or choose chips made with higher-fiber ingredients such as beans and flaxseed

Dips – may be made with high-fat ingredients such as mayonnaise and sour cream; instead try hummus or low-fat yogurt-based dips.

Salad dressing/spread – may be high in fat and contain extra sodium; instead, use olive oil and balsamic vinegar with fresh or dried herbs; whisk in low–fat yogurt to make a creamy dressing or to replace mayonnaise as a spread.

Source FACETS, Summer Edition May/June