New Foods for Diet Success: Diet Tweaks that Work
October 30, 2020
In Asheville, we know about good food and it is one of the best times of the year for all foodies; Holiday season and we are approaching it faster than you think. So, who’s ready to pack on the annual holiday 10? Meaning an extra 10 pounds of weight as we eat our way through Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah and on into the New Year. Maybe with the help of the following tips, you can avoid gaining the annual 10 and, instead gain new insights that will lead to better ways of structuring your diet on a regular basis.
It is better to incorporate small changes rather than to make changes that have a significant impact on the diet such as eliminating food groups or skipping certain meals. The key to sustainable changes when it comes to our regular diet, is to incorporate new ways of eating, one small step at a time.
Add more vegetables
Start by adding more vegetables to your daily meals. Make it fun and simple by starting with eating more of your favorite vegetables. Try making small additions wherever possible such as adding veggies to a sandwich like different types of lettuces, herbs, sprouts, and crunchy radishes. Of course salads will be a no brainer for adding more vegetables. One way to make your salads more interesting and appealing is to make theme salads. Try creating an Asian style or Southwestern style salad and this will help you determine what vegetables to add in. For instance, at one the Pisgah Valley independent living activities, we performed a food demo and demonstrated how to make an Asian slaw with fresh ingredients. This salad had common Asian ingredients such as red cabbage, ginger, soy sauce and mung beans. By focusing on adding rather than taking away, you will feel less stressed about the process of getting your diet a little healthier.
Dr. Michael Gregor, M.D., FACLM author of the book, “How Not to Diet” lists his “Daily Dozen.” Sometimes we all fall off the wagon a little, so when you feel as though your diet has been not going in the right direction, try to incorporate Dr. Gregor’s Daily Dozen and that may help frame your food choices throughout the day. The Daily Dozen includes:
- BEANS – 3 SERVINGS
- BERRIES – 1 SERVING
- OTHER FRUITS – 3 SERVINGS
- CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES – 1 SERVING
- GREENS – 2 SERVINGS
- OTHER VEGETABLES – 2 SERVINGS
- FLAXSEEDS – 1 SERVING
- NUTS – 1 SERVING
- SPICES – 1 SERVING
- WHOLE GRAINS – 3 SERVINGS
- BEVERAGES (water, unsweetened tea, unsweetened herbal teas, decaffeinated coffee) – 5 SERVINGS
- EXERCISE – 1 SERVING
This list can seem overwhelming, but in one day this is not a difficult task to complete, especially if you like to eat! Think about ways to make the list more manageable and not so large by making dishes that use incorporate many parts of the daily dozen. Try making a fruit salad and including all the daily dozen fruits or make a stir fry with brown rice. This could include all the daily dozen- vegetables, nuts, spices, grains, and beans – that meal alone contains half of the daily dozen.
Stay Away from Added Sugars
Added sugars are sugars or syrups that have been added in the processing and preparation stages of the food or beverage product. They are different from sugars that are naturally occurring in fruits and milk. In order to avoid added sugars one must read food labels and also aim to eat primarily whole foods. Whole foods are foods that come from the Earth and have not been processed. The recommendation for added sugars for adults is no more than 36 grams (9 tsp) of added sugar for men and no more than 24 grams (6 tsp) of added sugar for women per day.
Will you join me in saying, “No” to the holiday 10? I hope so. By incorporating more healthy options while making small changes, you will be sure to maintain a healthy weight for your body and avoid the dreaded holiday 10.