Spring clean your diet with these healthy, helpful eating tips

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 14, 2018

If one of your goals this spring and summer 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 value.

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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 and fresh peas.

• Nuts/Seeds.  These foods are sources of protein, fiber, and heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fats, as well as minerals.  Studies suggest that replacing saturated 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-at Greek style yogurt and add your own fresh fruit.

Simple dietary changes will help you move into spring in a healthier way. A Take advantage of the longer light and the warmer weather and add some outdoor activities, such as walking and 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 pop-corn 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 or type dressings.

Salad dressings/spread – may be high in fat and contain extra sodium; instead, use olive oil, vinaigrettes, balsamic vinegar with fresh or dried herbs; whisk in low-fat yogurt to make creamy dressings or to replace mayonnaise as a spread.  By following these tips you will have a fresh new way of Spring cleaning your diet. Source: FACETS – Spring Edition, 2017