February 28, 2005
New guidelines issued by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science encourage adults to consume of at least 4,700 milligrams of potassium every day. That’s almost double what most of us actually consume.
Potassium is a mineral that helps muscles contract, maintains fluid balance, sends nerve impulses and releases energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates. The highest amounts of potassium are found in fruits and vegetables, and it’s also found in beans, fish and some dairy foods.
Reach your recommended daily intake of potassium by adding these foods to your daily menu:
Potato – medium, baked 844
Lentils – 1 cup, boiled 731
Sweet potato – medium, baked 397
Okra – ½ cup, boiled 255
Carrot – medium, raw 233
Broccoli – ½ cup, boiled 228
Spinach – ½ cup, raw 152
Tomato – raw 135
Bell pepper – ½ cup 90
Raisin –2/3 cup 751
Date – 10 dried 541
Cantaloupe – 1 cup 494
Banana – medium 450
Apricot – 3 medium 314
Kiwi – medium 252
Strawberries - 1 cup 247
Orange – medium 250
Watermelon – 1 cup 186
Snapper- 3 0z, cooked 444
Yogurt, 1 cup, lowfat 411
1% low fat milk – 1 cup 381
Haddock – 3 oz cooked 340
Pistachios – 1 oz, dry roasted 275
Turkey – 3 oz, roasted 255
Almonds – 1 oz, dry roasted 218
Chicken – 3 oz, roasted 212
February 25, 2005
Stress is how your body responds to change. Stress happens everyday and everyone responds differently. Some people eat less. Some people overeat. Some people exercise. Some people smoke. Some people get angry. Some people meditate. Some people can’t sleep. Some people write in a journal. Finding a positive way to deal with daily stressors is important. Letting stress build up or responding negatively to stress can increase your risk for heart disease. During this time, stress hormones are released which cause your muscles to tense, heart rate to increase and blood vessels to constrict causing your blood pressure to go up. If you already have clogged arteries, blood doesn’t flow easily to your heart and you may even have chest pains. Everyday, you should eat healthfully, be physically active, get enough sleep (i.e. 8 hours/night), laugh, practice positive self-talk, and give and receive hugs. Other ways to help relieve stress is to make time for social events like going out to dinner with friends, going to a ball game or spending time with your family. It’s also important to have someone you can vent to when you have a bad day. Sometimes just talking it out with someone who will listen and doesn’t criticize can be calming. Making time for yourself is also important. This can be spiritual practice, meditating, journaling or just spending time alone. Hobbies are great stress relievers too. Whether it is reading, gardening, wood working, playing golf, sewing, playing with pets or painting, hobbies can temporarily take your mind to a place where the stress doesn’t matter. Giving yourself rewards like sleeping in late, a candlelight dinner, a day at the spa (massage, manicure) or tickets to a play or special event can also help balance out the stress in your life. The key is finding something that works for you.
February 24, 2005
The Other Unsaturated Fat: Omega-3’s
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids found in seafood, especially higher-fat, cold-water varieties such as mackerel, albacore tuna, salmon, herring, sardines, and lake trout. All seafood, including shellfish and crustaceans such as oysters and shrimp, contain omega-3 fatty acids. These fats have been shown to provide a protective effect against heart disease by lowering triglycerides, correcting irregular heart beats and decreasing your risk of getting blood clots. It is recommended that you consume fatty fish 2 times per week to see a benefit. Walnuts and flaxseeds are also a good source of omega-3’s. You can add them to cereal, baked goods like breads or muffins before baking or sprinkle them over salads. Grinding the flaxseeds makes it easier for your body to digest. Cooking oils which are rich in omega-3’s are canola and soybean.
Fish-oil capsules contain omega-3 fatty acids but they are not recommended as a substitute for fish or as a dietary supplement. Eating fish, as part of a healthful eating plan, is the best way to get omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and other important nutrients.
Pregnant women, nursing mothers and children should avoid shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel, all of which have high levels of mercury. These people can comfortably enjoy up to 12 ounces a week of other types of well-prepared fish.
Poached Salmon with Asparagus
4 salmon fillets (about 1 lb.)
1 tsp. dried rosemary
½ tsp. black pepper
1 can (14 oz.) ready-to-use vegetable broth
Juice of 1 lemon
½ lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
Season the salmon with the rosemary and ¼ tsp pepper. Place in a large skillet.
In a small bowl, combine the broth, lemon juice and the remaining ¼ tsp pepper. Mix well and pour into the skillet. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the asparagus around the salmon. Cover and cook for 5 minutes more, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork and the asparagus is tender. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
Serving size: 1 fillet
February 23, 2005
High Blood Pressure
Hypertension affects approximately one-quarter of adult Americans with another one-quarter having prehypertension, or blood pressure in the zone between normal and high.
Keep your blood pressure normal – or lower it – by making some lifestyle changes:
1. Participate in regular physical activity: at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week.
2. Consume moderate amounts of alcohol.
3. Maintain a normal body weight.
4. Limit foods high in sodium
Canned soup, vegetables, beans
Frozen dinners, vegetables in sauces
Processed meat – deli meat, hot dogs, sausage, bacon
Convenient foods – dry/instant soup, boxed rice mixes, instant potatoes
Snack foods – crackers, chips, pretzels, nuts, cheese, pickles
Seasonings – garlic/onion salt, salt, ketchup, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, steak sauce
5. Choose low sodium alternative foods when possible and watch your portions.
Low sodium soups, no added salt vegetables and beans
Low sodium frozen entrees
Fresh or frozen meat, fruit and vegetables
Low sodium snack foods
Garlic/onion powder, low sodium condiments
6. Eat 5-9 fruits and vegetables each day
7. Eat 3 high calcium foods each day
1 cup of 1% or skim milk
1 cup of low fat yogurt
Low fat mozzarella cheese sticks
½ cup of pudding made with low fat milk
Try lactose-free products or lactase enzymes, if you’re lactose intolerant.
8. Do not add salt to your plate. At least taste it first!
February 22, 2005
Deciphering Credentials: Whom Can You Trust for Reliable Nutrition Advice?
When you want nutrition information based on sound science, or want to know how food promotes health and fights disease, rely on the most-qualified professionals in the field of food and nutrition: a registered dietitian or dietetic technician, registered.
There are many so-called nutrition advisors out there, sometimes it's hard to tell just who is a qualified expert.
A registered dietitian, or RD, is a highly trained food and nutrition expert who has completed a four-year degree program and a supervised internship program and passed a comprehensive credentialing examination. Registered dietitians must maintain their credentials through career-long continuing education.
A dietetic technician, registered, or DTR, must complete at least a two-year degree and pass a nationwide examination. DTRs also must have supervised practice experience in community programs, health care and food service facilities. DTRs must also take part in continuing education courses throughout their careers.
From the hottest trendy restaurants to school cafeterias, from corporations to day-care centers, the secret is out. The registered dietitian is recognized as the most valuable source of good nutrition.
Many times authors or salespeople for dietary supplements, for example, may call themselves "nutritionists." In reality, they may only be self-proclaimed experts. Anyone could call themselves a nutritionist, so these terms, nutritionist and dietician, are really not interchangeable.
The best place to find a qualified registered dietician is to look on the website. It's American Dietetic Association Web site, www.eatright.org. And you can actually enter your ZIP code and you will find an RD within your local area.
February 16, 2005
Eating Out Series: Chinese
Chinese food is notorious for frying everything and being extra salty. Here are ten clues on how to choose sensibly when eating Chinese food.
Start out with a bowl of hot and sour soup instead of the egg drop soup.
The key word is steamed. Steamed rice, vegetables, and wontons are all good choices.
Vegetable lo mein and chop suey are 2 lower fat choices.
Ask that your vegetables, beef, chicken or shrimp be lightly stir-fried.
Sweet and Sour dishes have very little meat and are mostly the fat breaded and fried in more fat. Orange chicken, lemon chicken and garlic chicken are also breaded and fried in fat.
Go easy on the soy sauce. It has 1200 mg of sodium per tablespoon…that’s half the recommended intake for the day!
Ask your server if the cooks could not add MSG to your food. This is a high-sodium flavor enhancer called monosodium glutamate.
Try a family style dinner where you choose 3 low fat dishes and agree on 1 high fat dish. For example, order the won ton soup, steamed rice, steamed vegetables and garlic chicken.
Use chopsticks! For most people, it takes longer to eat so you’re brain will have time to get the message that you’re no longer hungry (it takes 20 minutes!).
Don’t forget to read your fortune from the low fat fortune cookies!
February 15, 2005
Pizza Packs Nutrition
Pizza is an American favorite and can be a great fit in a healthy eating plan.
Pizza is a perfect example of several food groups from the Food Guide Pyramid combined in one meal. The crust is a grain, the tomato sauce is a vegetable, the cheese a dairy and any meat is, of course, a protein. Making pizza healthier starts with the toppings.
Boost vegetable intake by adding onions, green peppers, broccoli, jalapenos or artichoke hearts. Decrease the fat by choosing crabmeat, Canadian bacon, shrimp, lean meat or chicken. Avoiding extra cheese also helps. If you're really adventurous, you can even add exotic vegetables, pineapple chunks or barbecue sauce.
Remember, a pizza can be anything you want. So use the Food Guide Pyramid to make it healthy and enjoyable.
February 14, 2005
For Chocolate Lovers
Aside from cupids, hearts and flowers, one thing is synonymous with Valentine’s Day. Chocolate.
Among South American tribes, chocolate was considered a food of the gods. For many people it remains just that. However, chocolate does contain fat and a number of calories.
The fat in chocolate is a combination of saturated and unsaturated fat and does not appear to increase blood cholesterol levels. A serving of chocolate contains about as much caffeine as one cup of decaffeinated coffee.
Research shows that chocolate contains antioxidants that may help prevent cholesterol from sticking to artery walls, reducing your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Chocolate also contains flavonoids, which are the same compounds that give red wine and tea their disease-preventing benefits. The darker the chocolate, the more antioxidants and flavonoids it contains.
Don’t forget the amount of chocolate you eat can make a difference in your calorie intake, so enjoy it in moderation.
Valentine's Day: Good for your heart's health
Wining and dining has long been a Valentine Day's tradition, but now there may be more reasons to clink glasses.
The stuff of Valentine's day may be good for your heart in more ways than one - chocolate, red wine and expressions of love can in fact be good for your heart's health, latest researches show.
Chocolate, red wine and love can play a role in keeping the blood flowing throughout the body. However, experts are not yet sure as to how they exactly boost physical fitness.
"It seems a component in cocoa - flavonoids - can be heart healthful," says Susan Moores of American Dietetic Association in an online report.
"Flavonoids are antioxidants which also help lower the level of bad cholesterol and increase the amount of good cholesterol," says Moores.
Alcohol (in moderate amount) has a blood thinning effect and that was found to be effective against stroke and heart disease, says another researcher Cynthia Sass in the report.
"The evidence is also very strong that good relationships have health benefits," says Blair Justice, professor emeritus, University of Texas School of Public Health.
However, Dr Samir Parikh, a psychiatrist says "happiness and good health is not day specific. Any celebration or happy event, a social gathering or fun and enjoyment with friends and family can keep a person stress free and his heart healthy."
February 11, 2005
Caffeine is a natural chemical found in tea leaves, coffee beans, cacao (the stuff used to make chocolate), and cola nuts (the plant that gives cola soda its flavor). Caffeine has been in foods that humans eat and drink for hundreds of years. Today, caffeine is found in many common foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, hot cocoa, soda, chocolate, and some medicines.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF CAFFEINE?
Caffeine is a mild stimulant to the central nervous system. It is not addictive, though it can be habit forming. When caffeine intake is stopped abruptly, some individuals can experience headache, fatigue or drowsiness. Age and body size can make a difference in effect. A child or a smaller person may feel caffeine's effects more strongly than an adult or a heavier, taller person. A cup of strongly brewed coffee or tea has more caffeine than a weakly brewed cup.
HOW MUCH CAFFEINE IS "SAFE?"
MODERATION is the key. Most experts agree that 300 mg. of caffeine (about the amount contained in 3 cups of coffee) is a moderate intake. People who have certain health problems need to check with their doctor as they consider their caffeine intake. At this time, there is NO evidence that caffeine intake is associated with heart disease, hypertension, osteoporosis or high cholesterol. Because research is ongoing, recommendations about caffeine in the presence of these conditions seems conflicting. Talk with your doctor for guidance about your consumption. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine's effects than others and may feel effects at smaller doses. Pregnancy and aging may affect one's sensitivity to caffeine. There is no evidence that caffeine in beverage form is dehydrating. Its diuretic effects are usually compensated for by the beverage's fluid content. If you ingest caffeine from sports supplements (Clif Bar Ice series) or from prescription drugs or over-the-counter sources (No-Doz, etc.) be sure to drink adequate fluid to rehydrate yourself from caffeine's mild diuretic action.
Amount of Drink/Food
Amount of Caffeine
Brewed coffee (drip method)
Chocolate milk beverage
Cold relief medication
*This is an average amount of caffeine. That means some of these products may contain a little more caffeine; some may contain a little less.
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration and National Soft Drink Association
HOW CAN I ENERGIZE?
Instead of reaching for another Coke(c), try these non-caffeinated strategies to maintain good energy levels:
· Get a good night's sleep. If you are tired during the day, take a short nap.
· Take a brisk, 10-minute walk.
· Eat regular, healthful meals. Use the food guide pyramid to build your meals. Fatty foods and alcohol can make you feel "draggy."
· Try not to skip or delay meals. Avoid eating very large meals - digesting a large meal can make you want a nap.
February 10, 2005
Eating Out Series: American
Most often you can find a low fat meal at an American restaurant. The problem arises with the add-ons and sauces. Here are some sensible options and tips on how to enjoy the not-so-sensible foods too.
Broth-based soups or shrimp cocktail are good starters.
Have a slice of bread if you want. If not, ask your server to take the basket off the table so you’re not tempted to indulge as you’re waiting for your meal to arrive.
Ask for your salad dressing on the side. Dip your fork into the dressing and then pierce the tomato, lettuce, cucumber, etc.
Pork tenderloin and grilled chicken breast are better choices than fried chicken, thighs, wings or drumsticks.
The leanest cuts of meat are New York, sirloin or filet mignon steak.
Grilled, baked or steamed fish or seafood with lemon juice or cocktail sauce are great choices.
If you get a burger, be aware of its weight. Most restaurants don’t use lean ground beef and it could be 2 days worth of meat.
Wise side dishes are rice pilaf or baked potato. Get the condiments on the side and add what you want.
The best desserts are sherbet, angel food cake with fruit or frozen yogurt.
If you want a special dessert, split it or get your dessert to go and enjoy it later.
February 9, 2005
The Fullness Factor
Many things influence how much food you eat at a meal, including how long it has been since you last ate, the taste, smell, and amount of food on your plate, and a complex array of physiological, psychological, and genetic factors that shape appetite. One important factor is satiety—that is, how full you feel while you eat and afterwards. The sensation of fullness occurs when your stomach and intestines send signals to the brain. If you’re trying to lose weight, you should know that satiety is not just a matter of how much you eat, but also which foods you choose.
One expert on how to feel full on fewer calories is Dr. Barbara Rolls. Her book The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan is based on a series of studies she conducted over the last few years at Penn State University in the Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior. We like her advice. Much of it is just common sense, but that’s in short supply in this age of supersized fast foods, hugely popular fad diets, and surging obesity rates.
The key to weight control, according to Rolls, is to eat foods with a low energy density—meaning relatively few calories per ounce—so that you leave the table feeling full and satisfied without breaking the calorie bank. Notable among these foods are fruits and vegetables and dishes that contain them (such as stews, pasta dishes, or smoothies), as well as soups. What these have in common are a high water content and usually lots of fiber. In contrast, foods with a high energy density—that is, lots of calories per ounce—typically have a low water content, and often are high in fat, which is the densest source of calories.
It’s easy to follow Rolls’s plan. For example, to reduce the energy density of chili, use lean meat and add celery, extra tomatoes, and mushrooms. To bulk up a pasta salad and cut the calories in half, add zucchini, carrots, and other veggies—fresh, canned, or frozen. Add lettuce, tomato, and pepper slices to a sandwich. Snack on an apple instead of chips or pretzels, for example, and grapes instead of raisins. A 100-calorie serving of raisins is only one-quarter cup; but a 100-calorie serving of grapes is nearly two cups. It’s obvious which is going to make you feel fuller.
Soups usually have a low energy density (except for those containing lots of butter or cream). In one Penn State study, women who had soup as a first course ate fewer calories overall during meals. Salads serve the same purpose, provided you use low-calorie dressing. If you consume bulky water-rich foods, you don’t have to eat less food when you diet. And such foods tend to be very nutritious. Rolls also recommends whole-grain pasta, breads, and cereals; their fiber makes them more filling. Seafood, skinless poultry, lean meats, and low-fat or nonfat dairy products are also on the menu. Because of its protein content, milk, even nonfat, helps people feel full and thus eat less. Whole fruit is always preferable to juice.
Food that satisfies
Rolls is not the only researcher studying satiety. Australian researcher Dr. Susanne Holt at the University of Sydney has developed a Satiety Index based on how full people feel during the two hours after eating 240 calories’ worth of various foods, which are all compared to white bread. Bulky high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables rate high. High-fat foods rank low, since 240 calories worth is a small portion. For instance, baked potatoes are more than three times as filling as white bread, but fatty croissants are only half as filling as the bread. Whole-grain bread is 50% more filling than white bread. Cakes, doughnuts, and cookies (high in fat and sugar) are among the least filling. The more fiber, protein, and water a food contains, the longer it will satisfy.
Despite the claims made by advocates of high-fat diets, fat seems to have less of an effect on satiety than protein or carbohydrates. However, studies on carbohydrates and satiety have had inconsistent results, in part because foods containing them are so varied. Clearly, some high-carbohydrate foods, such as fruits and vegetables, which are high in fiber, are more filling than others, such as white bread or pasta. Fiber boosts satiety in a number of ways. And while insoluble fiber (abundant in whole wheat) increases fullness in the short term, soluble fiber (in oats, for instance) can produce a feeling of satiety many hours after a meal. A number of studies have shown that high-fiber foods consumed at breakfast or lunch can significantly reduce food intake at the next meal, compared to low-fiber foods.
And keep in mind: One way to eat more filling foods is to find more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that you like. Most Americans have a very limited range. Try a new fruit or vegetable each week. And keep adding them to different dishes. It will never get boring.
Source: UC Berkley Newsletter. Research conducted by Pennsylvania State University researcher Barbara J. Rolls, PhD…I worked in her lab :)
February 8, 2005
What do you do?
What’s better for weight loss: intensity or duration? It’s true, the longer you exercise, the more your body uses stored fat as fuel. This is because it takes longer for fat than carbohydrate to be converted into energy. At the beginning of your exercise bout, you mainly use the carbohydrate that’s circulating in your blood stream. As time goes on and you start to slow down, like on a long jog, you’re using more fat for energy along with some carbohydrate. When long distance runners carbohydrate-load before events, they try to prolong the use of fat for fuel…because they don’t want to slow down. It’s also true that the more intense your workout, the more calories you burn (mainly from carbohydrate). Carbohydrate is a very quick energy source. When you’re sprinting or lifting weights, you are using carbohydrate. So the big debate concerning weight loss strategies is whether it’s better to burn more calories in a high intensity workout or use stored fat as fuel during longer, less intense workouts? This takes us back to the not-so-popular weight loss equation of weight management equals calories in minus calories out. So, it all comes down to how many calories do you expend? The problem is that in the long run you burn about the same amount of calories when you run fast for one mile or jog slowly for one mile. However it takes you longer to complete the slow jog, than the fast run. In our fast-paced lifestyle, everyone is pressed for time and only sets aside a small amount of time for exercise (if any). For these people the high intensity, short duration exercise bout is their best bet. However, given the fact that most of us are not currently physically active, a fast walk or slow jog may be more realistic. Either way, we make time for things that we want to make time for and making time for exercise, whichever frequency, intensity or type your choose is well worth the time and effort. Exercise has profound impacts on your health, including lowers blood pressure, blood glucose levels, triglycerides, increases HDL cholesterol, relieves stress, builds strength, endurance and flexibility, helps you sleep better, increases self esteem, protects your bones and boosts your energy level. Listed above are all the great reasons to exercise: so what do you do?
** Please consult with your physician before starting any exercise program. If you are not physically active, it is wise to start slow and easy and gradually add time and intensity.
February 4, 2005
To E or not to E.
(Source: Berkeley Wellness Leter. www.berkeleywellness.com)
Vitamin E was discovered at UC Berkeley more than 80 years ago and has been a star among nutrients for two decades now. In 1994, reacting to promising research, the Wellness Letter began recommending vitamin E supplements as a possible way to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other disorders. Many people, especially when following a low-fat diet, don’t get much vitamin E from food. We saw no evidence of harm, and the theory that antioxidants such as vitamin E could prevent or delay chronic diseases was plausible and exciting. In 2001, however, after reviewing subsequent clinical trials that had yielded disappointing or conflicting results, we softened our endorsement of E supplements and halved our recommendation to 200-400 IU a day. Then in 2003, after still more disappointing studies were published, we backed off even more. Now we are withdrawing our recommendation altogether.
This change, however, is not based on the much-publicized meta-analysis published last November, which concluded that high doses of vitamin E (more than 400 IU a day) taken long term may slightly increase the overall risk of dying—by about 4%. Lower doses (200 IU or less) did not increase the risk of dying—and may even have had a small protective effect, though the researchers raised doubts about this. That analysis, done at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, did not involve any new research. Instead, it combined and re-analyzed data from 19 clinical trials on vitamin E supplements from the last decade. Its results made headlines and caused shock waves, especially among the 13% of Americans who take this vitamin to protect their health, many of whom tossed their bottles of E.
No proof of harm
The Hopkins meta-analysis has not convinced us that vitamin E is dangerous. If you’ve been taking E pills, don’t fear that you’ve harmed yourself on the basis of this paper. Many researchers have raised questions about the way the analysis was done. Much of the press coverage overstated the results.
Moreover, there has been no solid evidence of harm from vitamin E. Of the 19 studies in the analysis, only one found a statistically significant risk. Three other recent meta-analyses on E found no increased risk. And after evaluating hundreds of studies, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, which devises the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) and safe upper limits for nutrients, concluded that the upper limit for vitamin E is 1,000 milligrams (about 1,500 IU) a day. It set the RDA, however, at just 15 milligrams (about 23 IU) a day.
But no benefits either
What is clear from the four meta-analyses and Institute of Medicine report mentioned above is that there’s little or no clinical research showing that vitamin E supplements are beneficial. Nearly all the clinical trials on E from the past few years have yielded negative, inconclusive, or neutral results. “Any time it takes so many studies to find a benefit, you have to be skeptical,��? says Dr. John Swartzberg, the head of our Editorial Board.
Other important studies on E are still underway, and some of them probably will find benefits. Indeed, in September we reported on a study that found that vitamins C and E, taken together, seem to decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s. Nevertheless, we can no longer recommend vitamin E pills—or any other antioxidant supplements. There are simply too many unanswered questions: Is one form of vitamin E supplement preferable? What dose is best? Should E be taken with other antioxidants? Do you have to start taking it when you’re still healthy? Is it possible that only the vitamin E in food is beneficial?
The best way to get E: Do eat foods rich in vitamin E—nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, whole grains, and leafy greens. The first three are high in “good��? fats, but also calories, so don’t go overboard. There is promising research showing that the E in foods is healthful. And these foods contain other important nutrients as well. We do advise most people to take a basic multivitamin, which typically contains a little more than the RDA for vitamin E.
February 3, 2005
Eating Out Series: Fast Food
Fast food fits nicely into our fast-paced lifestyles. It can be cheap, convenient and fast, but not always healthy. Here are some tips on how to fit fast food into a healthy lifestyle.
Ask for nutrition information at restaurants or find it online at restaurants’ websites. Have an idea of the best choices at different places so when you’re running errands or traveling and need a place to stop, you’ll be prepared.
Limit fast food to once per week.
Small hamburgers and grilled chicken sandwiches are going to be your best choices. Save the fried chicken, nachos supreme and double burgers for a once and awhile indulgence.
Stick with ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles to top your burgers. Omit the bacon, cheese and mayonnaise/special sauces.
Substitute a side salad or baked potato for the French fries.
If you order an entrée salad, be careful of the extras that come with it and how much you add on. The salad can easily become as high fat and caloric as a double burger with fries. Ask for a low fat salad dressing.
When at a deli, choose low fat lunchmeats over egg, tuna or chicken salad, meatball or Italian meat sandwiches. Pile on the veggies and choose low fat/low calorie dressings.
Choose thin crusts when ordering pizza instead of the deep dish or stuffed crusts. Watch out for high fat toppings like pepperoni, sausage, Italian meats and lots of cheese. Go vegetarian or try Canadian bacon and pineapple.
Save calories by drinking water, ice tea or diet soda instead of regular sodas and milkshakes.
Most fast food chains are phasing out their super-sized items…but politely decline if they suggest getting even more for your dollar.