Pick Party Food Wisely
Try these guidelines at pot-luck dinners this season:
- Just because the food is there doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Before you put it on your plate, ask yourself how much you really want it, and if you’ll regret eating it afterwards.
- Limit gravies, melted cheeses and other sauces.
- Make sure your meal is balanced. If you have a little meat or fish, some vegetables and maybe a small serving of whole grain, you’ll feel satisfied and less likely to want more.
- Don’t fill your plate. Remind yourself you can always come back for more—and then don’t.
- Don’t hang out by the food. Make your selection and move on to conversation.
- Remember that the more alcohol you drink, the less discipline you’re likely to have.
Okay to Eat Nuts?
True or false?
Nuts are high in fat, so it’s best to eliminate them from your diet.
Well, mostly false. Nuts are high in fat. But it’s the good kind of fat—mono- or polyunsaturated. Other benefits of nuts: they’re rich in
- Protein and minerals
- Omega-3 fatty acids (good for your heart)
- Flavonoids (antioxidants that can help fight cancer and heart disease)
It’s easy to go overboard though. Nuts are high in calories. A tiny handful per day should be your limit.
Source: Weil, A. Eating Well for Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Food, Diet and Nutrition. Knopf, 2000.
Broccoli: Steam or Microwave?
Which is healthier, steaming your broccoli or putting it in the microwave?
According to a recent study, steaming is healthiest. When you put your broccoli in the microwave, you’re losing 74 to 97 percent of three key antioxidants that are said to reduce cancer risk. The antioxidants leach into the cooking water and then evaporate.
When you steam your broccoli, you lose no more than 11 percent of the antioxidants.
Source: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Hot Holiday Drinks
Those warm holiday drinks can do some real damage to your good intentions when it comes to limiting calories. Hot buttered rum really does contain butter, and often whipped cream. Egg nog often has not only eggs and whole milk, but lots of sugar and sometimes whipped cream. Mulled cider usually has less fat, but lots of sugar.
You can still have these drinks, but limit them. Even a half cup of canned egg nog has 9 grams of fat and 160 calories. The message here is: portion control!
Source: Calories Control Council
Foods to Prevent Colds?
You’re always going to find people who swear that vitamin C can help prevent colds, and people who say there’s no solid proof. In fact, there have not been a lot of large studies done that show that taking a lot of vitamin C helps much at all.
On the other hand, vitamin C is an essential nutrient and an antioxidant. It’s good for you. Make sure to get some every day—from citrus fruits and juices, red and green peppers, and other fruit and vegetable sources.
You may still catch a cold, but you’ll be getting the nutrients you need.