Enjoy the power of produce
When you pile your plate with fiber-packed—and filling—fruits and vegetables, you leave less space for other foods that have more fat and calories. In fact, adding more produce to your meals and snacks is one key way to control your weight over the long term, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh. And not only will goods grown in the garden help you lose weight, they’re also chock-full of nutrients that can bolster your overall health. Make the most of produce by following these tips:
Check the label. Look for the U.S. Fancy or U.S. No. 1 on labels or stickers of product, or on display. Produce with these U.S. Department of Agriculture shields are the freshest and best quality.
Leave the skin on. Some fruits and vegetables have an abundance of vitamins and minerals in their peels.
Steam instead. Boiling veggies can leach out their nutrients, so you might be pouring vitamins down the drain with the cooking water.
A recent study found that women who scan food labels are about 8 pounds lighter than those who don't. Examining nutrition information closely helps you eat healthier by making sure your perception jibes with reality. For example, that granola might look like a healthful option, but if you don't read its label you won't see that there are a whopping 560 calories in 1 cup.
Pick whole grains
The fiber and protein in whole grains can keep you feeling satisfied much longer than processed alternatives can. At least half the grains you eat should be whole. Since the recommended game intake for women in six servings per day, that means at least three of those should be whole grain.
Nuts keep blood sugar stable, meaning your hunger is less likely to return quickly. They also contain good fats and lots of protein, both of which keep your appetite in check. To head off hunger pains, experts suggest, munch on 1 ounce of nuts daily. Pick nuts that not only stop your hunger but also improve your health
Choose lean protein
Because protein breaks down during digestion more slowly than other nutrients, having some with every meal can help you feel satisfied longer. Aim to fill one fourth of your plate with protein at each meal, and include protein in every snack (try low-fat dairy or a spoonful of nut butter). Limit red meat to no more than three times per week. Instead opt for beans, poultry and fish. To select the best protein, follow these helpful hints:
Get the best beef. When shopping for red meat, look for leaner cuts, labeled round or loin. And be sure to watch your portion size—keep it to 3 ounces.
Be picky with poultry. When buying ground turkey, stick with 93 percent lean varieties. Anything less might include skin as an additional source of fat.
Buy more beans. Beans have a lot of protein but little fat. Mix in a can with ground beef when making tacos, meat loaf or burgers. You'll end up eating less meat and less fat.
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