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More Healthful Food Preparation Tips

DOMake simple tweaks in your diet to help prevent heart disease. As you make this healthy lifestyle change, be sure to read nutrition labels carefully and base your eating pattern on these recommendations.

Cooking
Bake, broil, roast, stew, or grill meats, fish or poultry

When you cook, choose healthy unsaturated fat:
       -Use canola, olive or soybean oil for sautéing
       -Make salad dressing w/olive or nut oils

Cook with lemon juice, herbs, onions, peppers and spices to flavor foods without adding fat or salt

Cut at least half the salt from most recipes

Cook with nonstick spray to avoid excess fat

Try applesauce, prune whip or fat-free yogurt to replace some or all of the oil in some baked goods

Fiber
Incorporate lots of fresh vegetables into recipes, especially those that are high in fiber, such as chick peas and kidney beans

Eat 25 g of fiber daily (whole grains, fruit, veg., nuts)

Fruits and Vegetables
Aim to eat at least five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Need help determining what counts as one serving?

For example:

  • 1 cup chopped raw vegetables or fruit: baseball size
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit (raisins, apricots): a small handful
  • 1 cup of lettuce: four leaves
  • 5 to 6 baby carrots

Protein
Eat fish regularly (2)3.5 ounce servings a week

Eat proteins from plant foods (soy, dried beans and legumes) or egg whites instead of meats

Reduce Fat and Cholesterol
Choose lean cuts of beef and pork, ie:“loin” or “round”

Take the skin off poultry before serving and eating

When cooking ground meat, drain off the excess fat

Select fat-free (skim), 1% or low-fat dairy products

Aim to eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day (animal products such as meat, eggs, cheese, milk)

Use egg whites or egg substitutes, which have lower cholesterol

Use reduced-fat or fat-free cream cheese or mayonnaise on bagels and sandwiches.

Reduce Sodium
Do not salt foods once they are prepared

Cook from scratch instead of using “instant” products that contain salt/sodium additives

Select no- or low-sodium canned foods

Flavor foods with herbs, spices, wine, lemon or vinegar instead of salt.

Use reduced-sodium soy and teriyaki sauces.

DON'TOvercook vegetables; instead, steam or bake them to keep their nutrients.

Load the butter on for flavor; substitute extra-virgin olive oil for butter, stick margarine and other trans-fatty oils.

Overindulge; be aware of portion sizes and how many calories are in the portions you eat and serve your family.

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