Follow these healthy guidelines to update your eating style, help lose pounds and improve your nutrition profile.
- Cut down on saturated and trans fats by choosing nonfat dairy products and non-hydrogenated margarine (check the Nutrition Facts label and choose one with zero trans fat and no more than 2 g of saturated fats per tbsp and with liquid vegetable oil as the first ingredient).
- Instead of using a whole egg in a recipe, use 2 egg whites or ¼ cup liquid egg substitute to cut cholesterol.
- Buy low-sodium versions of common canned recipe ingredients like tuna, beans, tomatoes and other vegetables. If you can’t find low-sodium or “no salt added,” rinse the contents in a colander under water to wash away some of the salt.
- Choose canned fruits packed in juice rather than syrup.
- Use nonstick cooking spray instead of greasing bakeware with butter or shortening. And use it in skillets instead of butter and oils for cooking.
- Use reduced-fat, low-fat, lite or no-fat salad dressings on salads, for dips or as marinades.
- Make your own creamy salad dressing by blending nonfat sour cream or cottage cheese and low-fat buttermilk. Add fresh herbs like dill, tarragon or chives.
- If you must buy crackers and chips, look for whole-grain, low-fat and low-sodium kinds.
- Instead of high-fat cookies like chocolate chip or macaroons, choose graham crackers, rice cakes, fig and other fruit bars, and ginger snaps.
- Choose “choice” or “select” grades of beef rather than “prime,” and be sure to trim the fat off the edges before cooking.
- Choose cuts of red meat and pork labeled “loin” and “round,” as they usually have the least fat.
- With poultry, use the leaner light meat (breasts) instead of the fattier dark meat (legs and thighs), and be sure to remove the skin.
Article copyright © 2014 American Heart Association. This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association's Simple Cooking with Heart © Program. For more articles and simple, quick and affordable recipes, visit heart.org/simplecooking.