Food Mistakes That Can Get in the Way of Healthy Eating
Are you making these common nutrition blunders?
Healthy Eating Mistake No. 3: Eating Out or Ordering Takeout More Often Than Not continued...
Of course, cooking at home more often isn't always easy. Here are several
strategies that can help keep you from frequenting the drive-through:
- Start with a well-stocked pantry and refrigerator. Some of my favorite
ingredients to have handy for whipping up quick dinners are whole-grain pasta,
bottled marinara and pesto sauces, whole-grain tortillas, shredded reduced-fat
cheese, and canned refried beans.
- Get that slow cooker out of hiding and start collecting some slow cooker
recipes you want to try. Invest a few minutes in the morning to assemble the
ingredients, set the slow cooker on LOW, and leave for work. When you arrive
home that evening, dinner is ready to be served.
Try some fun and easy dinner options like soup and sandwich night, breakfast
for dinner night, pasta night, salad night, baked potato bar night, or homemade
pizza night (using whole wheat Boboli crust, whole wheat bagels, or tortillas
for the crust).
Healthy Eating Mistake No. 4: Not Taking Advantage of Food Synergy
Do you peel your apples or tomatoes? Do you eat your veggie-rich green salad
with fat-free dressing? Do you like to peel and chop your garlic right before
adding it into your stir-fry or sauce? If you answered "yes" to any of
the above, you are decreasing the availability to your body of important
nutrients found in these foods.
That's because there are all sorts of relationships between the various
components within certain foods and between certain foods, a concept called
"food synergy." For example, certain phytochemicals in apple peel
account for most of apples' healthy antioxidant activity, so peeling apples
isn't the healthiest way to go.
Also, it's a good idea to let your minced or chopped garlic rest for 15
minutes before proceeding with cooking, according to the American Institute for
Cancer Research. This helps ensure that the enzymatic reaction that begins when
garlic is chopped releases as much of the antioxidant allyl sulfur as possible
-- and thus maximizes the cancer-fighting benefits.
If you're dressing a salad or making a homemade marinara sauce, make sure
you include some healthy fats, like avocado or olive oil. Eating a little
"good fat" along with your vegetables helps your body absorb healthy
phytochemicals, like lycopene from tomatoes and lutein from dark green
vegetables. So enjoy your salad with some avocado or a light dressing made with
canola or olive oil. And add a drizzle of olive oil when you are whipping up a
batch of spaghetti sauce.
And when it comes to tomatoes, for maximum nutrient value, don’t peel them,
and eat them cooked and processed.