Getting fit is on a lot of people’s mind this time of year. The following guest post by registered dietitian Deanna Segrave-Daly of Teaspoon Communications provides some great nutrition tips. (She even includes tips for those with dietary restrictions including lactose intolerance, gluten-free and vegetarian.) Enjoy!
A Fresh Perspective on Food Restrictions; How to Cope in the New Year:
* Surf for Support – Search for online support groups based on your specific food restriction. While the services of health professionals are critical for diagnosis and evaluation, the support of “people like me” are instrumental in your long-term success at a healthy (and tasty) lifestyle.
* Come Back to the Kitchen – Resolve to cook at home a few more days a week. Not only will you have control over your ingredients, you’ll be more likely to enjoy a healthier diet by using fresher and less processed ingredients.
* Lose the Lactose -If you are diagnosed with lactose intolerance, ring in the New Year knowing you can enjoy the taste of milk again with Real Goodness™ – the only 100% lactose free milk that actually tastes like regular milk.
* Grow With Gluten-Free – If you have celiac disease, celebrate the fact that your gluten-free resources (both food products and information/recipes) are greater and more abundant than ever before. For starters, check out www.glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com (she’s married to a chef!)
Losing Weight the Healthy Way:
* Rethink Your Drink – Start by analyzing what’s in your daily cup. Empty calorie beverages, such as regular soda and sweetened iced teas often take place of simple H20 – what your body craves. Cut your consumption in half and you’ll slash a lot of calories. Carry a refillable water bottle or have a permanent glass at your office desk. Besides water, choose nutrient-rich beverages such as milk or 100% fruit/vegetable juice to get more bang for your calorie buck.
NOTE: If you are lactose intolerant, there is a new 100% lactose free milk – Real Goodness™ – that tastes just like regular milk.
* Wake Up Right –There’s too much riding on your morning nosh not to make it better, especially if you’re a breakfast skipper. Studies show that regular breakfast eaters are less likely to be overweight1. Pair peanut butter toast with a smoothie (mix equal parts milk, yogurt and fruit.) Grab last night’s leftover veggie pizza. Even a banana with a skinny latte is better than an empty stomach.
* Portion Your Plate – Each time you eat, mentally divide your plate into three sections: ½ vegetables & fruit, ¼ whole grains and ¼ protein. By consciously categorizing your meals, you get more nutrients like fiber, antioxidants and minerals while controlling servings. Roast vegetables for a rich, sweeter taste. Experiment with different grains such as couscous and quinoa. Add extra fruit to your dessert choice.
* Power Up with Protein– A collection of research suggests that including more high-quality protein – within a calorie controlled diet paired with exercise – could play an important role in managing a healthy body weight2. Experts believe that protein also gives the feeling of satiety, so by staying fuller longer, you may consume fewer calories. Choose high-quality protein from lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs and low-fat dairy. Round out your intake with plant-based sources like beans, legumes, nuts and nut butters. Bottom line: keep protein in balance with fat and carbohydrates – remember that portioned plate!
* Keep It Sweet – Satisfy your sweet tooth The American Heart Association recently issued daily sugar limits for adults: 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men. Use your allocated sugar “budget” to enhance flavors of nutrient-rich foods as in sweetened whole grain cereal or low-fat chocolate milk. Buy fresh fruit in-season and eat ripe for natural sweetness. Try a sugar substitute when weaning off other sugary indulgences.
2 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Supplement: Protein Summit 2007: Exploring the Impact of High-Quality Protein and Optimal Health. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: 2008; 87:155S-158S.