I met a patient today who’s willingness to eat healthy was about as absent as the beer in a pirogue at a Cajun wedding reception. There are lots of reasons to eat healthy and the patient had more than enough. Heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, high blood pressure, reflux and many other conditions can be dramatically affected by the foods you choose to eat. “Everything in Moderation” is not only my motto but is the motto of several dietitians worldwide. Unless you have a specific reason to totally avoid something, there’s no reason why you “can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Here are some guidelines I follow:
- Portion control is one of the most important things you can do to eat in moderation. Check out this link about portion sizes.
- Try to choose lean meats: fish, white meat chicken and turkey, lean ground beef (90/10 or 93/7) or pork loin.
- Avoid frying foods whenever possible. You can bread your foods, drizzle a little olive oil on top and bake them in the oven for an “oven fried” finish.
- Don’t always opt for fat-free items. Often times manufacturers replace the fat with extra sugar.
- Put down the salt shaker! Cook with minimal salt. Serve yourself a plate of food, taste it, THEN see if it needs additional flavor.
- Substitute sides like fries or chips with something crispy like apples or cucumber slices.
- Fruits and Veggies: Not everyone likes all of them so find the ones you like and eat up!
- Eat a dessert! But when you do, keep in mind how many other desserts you’ve had that day and practice “everything in moderation” and portion control.
- Last but not least, try to limit your consumption of sodas and other sugary drinks (including diet) and opt for water or milk (2% or 1% is a better choice).
I can eat a bag of chips or a candy bar like nobody’s business. Everyone’s got their own stories of what works and what doesn’t work but it’s been my experience that fad dieting or flash dieting works for a little while but you never develop those everyday habits you really need in order to make a lifelong change. My strategy is to try and eat healthy 80-90% of the time and I let myself splurge every now and then but, in….you guessed it, moderation! Even if you make one small change today, it’s a step in the right direction and I’m proud of you!
Have a great night!