Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans. It is also preventable and reversible. Just by changing your eating habits you can improve very quickly. The following are 10 easy steps you can do to improve your diet starting today! Remember, what you eat today, makes tomorrow’s blood!
- No Cheese please: When making or ordering a salad, sandwich or even a burger, forgo the cheese. It is filled with saturated fat, cholesterol and salt and you will save a lot of calories;
- Substitute mustard or mashed avocado for mayo: Instead of mayo, use mustard or mashed avocado. When eating at a Mexican restaurant, substitute guacamole for the sour cream that comes with your dish;
- Choose a vinaigrette or oil and vinegar instead of Ranch or Thousand Island dressing: Salad can contain more fat and calories than a burger with fries and it is mostly due to the dressing! So, order a vinaigrette or just oil and vinegar instead of Ranch or Thousand Island dressings. Also, order it on the side and use it sparingly. One way is to dip your fork into the dressing and then take a bite. You use less that way.
- Substitute beans instead of meat: Beans are a great source of protein and fiber without the saturated fat and cholesterol. Start incorporating them into dishes you would normally use meat such as burritos or Shepherd’s Pie. Meatless Monday’s are a great way to start!
- Size of your animal protein: Eat only a side-dish size of meat, chicken or pork for your meals. When dining out, eat half and take the rest home for another meal. Balance your meat with salad, whole grains, vegetables or soup;
- Choose lean meats instead of cold cuts: Cold cuts contain preservatives, nitrates and sodium. Use only lean, unprocessed meats, chicken, tuna or turkey;
- Add veggies when you can: When making or ordering a sandwich, pasta or entrée, always look on the menu to see what other vegetables they are offering and add them to your dish or meal. Restaurants are so accommodating today.
- Add fiber to your diet: Always choose brown rice over white rice, whole-wheat pasta over regular pasta and whole-grain or whole-wheat bread instead of white bread. Read the ingredients and make sure it contains wheat or whole grains and not molasses or caramel coloring to make the bread appear brown;
- Use Sesame, Olive or Safflower oils: Use healthier oils instead of butter, lard or bacon fat;
- Substitute vegetable broth for chicken or beef broth: This is a very easy substitution and you do not lose any flavor. You can make your own vegetable broth or buy an organic one.
These steps seem easy but can make a real difference. Read the labels on all the products you buy. If you need a science degree to understand the ingredients listed on the box or can, don’t buy it! The fewer the ingredients the better.