MUNCIE, Indiana – Seems just about every time you pick up a magazine or browse online you inevitably see something like, “How to lose weight without even trying!” or “The pill that takes off 10 pounds in a just three days!” It’s ironic, too; according to a recent Gallup poll, one-half of the country says they eat fast food weekly. People just hear the term “healthy food” and they groan. Who wants to eat an apple when you can eat an apple turnover?
What if you could introduce ways to eat healthy foods by hiding them in the food you already eat? It’s possible. Read on for some great ways to sneak some healthy foods into your everyday diet.
According to the American Heart Association, you’re supposed to eat three to five servings of veggies per day, all different colors. Here’s an awesome way to get some veggies into your diet: Order a pizza. However, instead of ordering the meat lover’s, order one with lots of different vegetables on it.
Another idea: Get a juicing/blending machine and drink your veggies. Sweeter veggies like carrots make great ingredients in smoothies. Maybe it sounds gross, but after you have one that tastes like carrot cake (yes, there is a recipe for a carrot cake smoothie, just Google it), then you might change your mind. Plus, here’s the great part: If you make a blender full and drink just half of it, you have gotten nine vegetable servings for the day.
The American Medical Association (AMA) says you should have at least six servings of grains a day. One piece of bread is a serving. Here’s a good one: Use oats instead of bread crumbs to make meatballs or meatloaf. They are high in fiber, have more iron and are lower in sodium, too.
Here’s a better one: When you bake, use whole wheat flour instead of white flour, or use half of each. There is twice as much protein and four times the fiber in whole wheat flour than in white flour.
The AMA recommends four to five servings of fruit per day. For the people who don’t like fruit, a few cheats may help:
- When you have a baked potato, put some salsa on it (tomatoes are a fruit, remember?)
- Put tomato on a grilled cheese sandwich
- If you cook with oil, substitute half the oil with applesauce
- Get fruit sorbet instead of ice cream
Recommendation for dairy? Low-fat or fat-free, two to three servings a day. Dip some strawberries in low-sugar chocolate syrup and layer on low-fat whipped cream. You’re getting a serving of fruit in there, too. Or make pudding (just use skim milk). Weight Watchers has more ideas on sneaking dairy into your diet.
Meat, Nuts and Legumes
The AMA-recommended servings for meat are 3-6 ounces per day (3 ounces of fish is the size of a checkbook). For nuts, seeds and legumes: three to four servings per day. Two tablespoons of peanut butter is a serving of nuts (albeit a fattening one). Try topping a pork chop with an apple or a pear. Chop up some walnuts, add cashews, some almonds and mix them together; make a cup. They’re great tasting nuts, and you’ll get your daily intake in this category.
See? You can make it work. Take baby healthy food steps, and you’ll start to get used to the different tastes and feel better, too.