Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many ways to make small changes toward a healthier eating style.
Simple swaps can make at-home dishes healthier without sacrificing flavor:
- Use heart-healthy canola, olive or peanut oil instead of solid fats.
- Use sharp, reduced-fat cheese and low-fat milk in your macaroni and cheese.
- Sweeten your desserts with fruit puree or apple sauce instead of sugar.
- Use whole wheat flour instead of white flour in muffins.
- Opt for brown rice instead of white rice in your red beans and rice or jambalaya.
- Cut the fat in potato salad by substituting half of the mayonnaise with plain non-fat Greek yogurt.
- Liven up your family meals by trying new spices.
- Use smoked paprika or a dash of smoked salt to add the smoked flavor that you would normally get from ham, bacon or salt pork.
- Consider using salt-free herb blends to lower the salt in your foods.
- Experiment with different flavors by adding apple cider or rice vinegar to your greens.
- Marinate your chicken in rosemary and lemon juice before grilling.
- Add a little brown sugar and vanilla to make a lower-calorie version of candied yams.
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Include protein, such as lean meat, poultry, seafood or beans, and whole grains on the other half of your plate.
- With each meal, add calcium-rich foods such as fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese or calcium-fortified non-dairy beverages.
And remember, healthy eating styles can be adapted to fit the foods of all cultures. Find out more about ethnic foods for a healthy plate at EatRight.org.