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Resolve to TweakPosted Wednesday, January 11, 2012, at 7:50 AM
Did you resolve to lose weight and eat healthier this year but not know where to start? Most start by cutting back on -- or eliminating -- sodas, sweets, and snacks. But what other changes can you make?
Start by changing your own recipes. A few small tweaks can create nutritious, delicious dishes with less sugar, fat, and processed flours but more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The health benefits of tweaking can include weight loss, lower blood sugar, lower cholesterol, increased energy and an overall feeling of good health.
So, how do you tweak those same 'ole recipes?
* Replace processed grains with healthier whole grain options: replace white flour with whole grain flours (whole wheat, brown rice, oat flour, buckwheat, spelt, etc.); white rice with brown rice; white pasta with whole wheat pasta; white bread with 100% whole wheat bread; and egg noodles with whole wheat egg noodles.
* Decrease carbohydrates by adding less pasta, less rice, or less noodles.
* Lighten things up by choosing fat free or 1% milk and fat free or reduced fat cheeses and sour cream.
* Reduce or omit butter.
* Replace oil with half oil and half applesauce.
* Beef up casseroles, pasta dishes, and pizzas with vegetables -- add mushrooms, spinach, kale, broccoli, peas, beans, frozen vegetables, etc.
* Consider using legumes -- beans, peas, and lentils -- as an alternative source of protein. Add lentils to vegetable soup recipes; add beans to spaghetti, pizza, and salads; and add peas to noodle casseroles.
* Add fruit to your favorite hot or cold cereal.
* When sugar is an optional ingredient, decrease the amount, or even better, omit it. Also consider sugar alternatives such as honey, 100% maple syrup, or molasses. Although the body processes all sugars similarly, honey, maple syrup, and molasses have some nutrients and antioxidants not found in table sugar.
Every little tweak helps. In fact, many find the recipe for a healthier diet through a series of small tweaks.
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