Make Over Your Kitchen
Stock up on these smart foods
By Jeanie Lerche Davis
Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
Healthy eating is a beautiful thing. And it's not that difficult. A little planning -- and careful shopping -- go a long way.
"You can have healthy meals, and prepare them quickly and easily, as long as you have the right ingredients on hand," says Karen Cullen, PhD, assistant professor of behavioral nutrition at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Indeed, wise shopping -- that's the crux of healthy eating, says Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, author of the Tell Me What to Eat book series, and "Recipe Doctor" for the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic.
"The lion's share of your pantry must be healthful -- including healthy versions of junk food," Magee tells WebMD. Through trial and error, she's found the low-fat treats her family likes. That includes ice cream (light types), even chips.
"I'm not a big chip craver, but plenty of people are," she says. Try different kinds of low-fat gourmet chips, she advises. Some are better tasting than others. Some are very satisfying, Magee says.
When it comes to her big loves -- such as chocolate -- Magee is a purist. "I don't believe in purging your kitchen of all the things you like. I always have some kind of chocolate around, so I know I can have chocolate when I want it. Therefore, I don't abuse it."
Our experts' shopping tips:
Flaxseed is also on Magee's "healthy eating" list. "Flaxseed is one of those power foods, in terms of what it offers. It increases the fiber content of any food," she says. Flaxseed can be added to soups, stews, yogurt, breakfast cereal; use your imagination.
Buy frozen or fresh:
Buy dairy carefully:
Make other changes:
Remember: "You have to be practical, you have to enjoy the food, and your children have to like it," Magee tells WebMD. "I'm feeding preteen girls, so I have to be real. Rice cakes aren't going to cut it. But they know they're not going to get regular potato chips in my house."
Healthy eating is all about training yourself and your family, she explains. "If all they see is junk, they're going to eat junk. There are times when you want the chocolate. As long as it's just now and then, you're keeping a healthy balance."
Published April 7, 2004.
SOURCES: Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, the "Recipe Doctor" for the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic. WebMD Feature: "Making Over Your Kitchen."
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Last Editorial Review: 1/31/2005 7:48:17 AM