Everyone should know how to cook. Cooking is not only a great survival skill, but it is also the best way to know exactly what goes into your stomach when you are eating. With the beginning of a new year, millions of people look for ways to stay leaner after indulging in high – often unhealthy – caloric meals over the holidays. If you have to remember one golden rule about nutrition and weight gain: excessive consummation of sugar (and not fat) is the culprit! Sugar is everywhere in the supermarket – often in food you’d never imagine! So try to stay away from packaged items. Instead follow these dietary recommendations!
Make half your plate fruits and veggies: The more colourful, the better!
Make half the grains you eat whole grains: Look for things like whole wheat, brown rice, bulgur, buckwheat, oatmeal, rolled oats, quinoa or wild rice.
Switch to low-fat (one percent) or fat-free milk: They both have the same amount of calcium and other important nutrients as more full-fat products.
Choose a variety of lean protein foods: These include poultry, seafood, dry beans or peas, eggs, nuts and seeds. If you do eat ground beef, go for a leaner cut, like 90 percent lean or higher.
Compare sodium in foods: Pay special attention to soup, bread, and frozen and canned foods’ sodium content via the Nutrition Facts label. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams per day of sodium, with an ideal number closer to 1,500 mg.
Drink water instead of sugary drinks: if you need to add a little flavour to plain water, try adding slices of fruit or a splash of 100 percent fruit juice.
Eat more seafood: Seafood like fish and shellfish have protein, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, which are heart-healthy fats. The goal is at least 8 oz for adults.
Cut back on solid fats: Those are things like cakes, cookies and other desserts, pizza, processed and fatty meats. Instead use avocado, nuts, and organic almond/peanut/cashew butter. Coconut oil is fantastic for high-temperature cooking, while olive oil is great for salads and dips.