Nutrition: Healthy Eating (cont.)

Make Choices That Are Lean, Low-fat, or Fat-free

When buying meat, poultry, milk, or milk products, choose versions that are lean, low-fat, or fat-free. Choose lean meats like chicken without the skin and lean beef or pork with the fat trimmed off.

If you frequently drink whole milk, switch to 1 percent milk or skim milk. Many people don't taste a difference. Some mix whole milk with lower-fat milk for a while so the taste buds can adjust. This doesn't mean you can never eat or drink the full-fat versions, Schneeman says. "That's where the discretionary calories come in."

Other tips to reduce saturated fat include cooking with non-stick sprays and using olive, safflower, or canola oils instead of lard or butter. Eat more fish, which is usually lower in saturated fat than meat. Bake, grill, and broil food instead of frying it because more fat is absorbed into the food when frying. You could also try more meatless entrees like veggie burgers and add flavor to food with low-fat beans instead of butter.

Focus on Fruit

The Dietary Guidelines recommend two cups of fruit per day at the 2,000-calorie reference diet. Fruit intake and recommended amounts of other food groups vary at different calorie levels. An example of two cups of fruit includes: one small banana, one large orange, and one-fourth cup of dried apricots or peaches.

Eat a variety of fruits--whether fresh, frozen, canned, or dried--rather than fruit juice for most of your fruit choices. "The whole fruit has more fiber, it's more filling, and it's naturally sweet," says Marilyn Tanner, a pediatric dietitian at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Still, some juices, such as orange and prune, are a good source of potassium.

Ways to incorporate fruit in your diet include adding it to your cereal, eating it as a snack with low-fat yogurt or a low-fat dip, or making a fruit smoothie for dessert by mixing low-fat milk with fresh or frozen fruit such as strawberries or peaches. Also, your family is more likely to eat fruit if you put it out on the kitchen table.



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