Most people eat far too many added sugars. The easiest way to clean up the sugars in your diet is to limit obvious sources of sugar like soda, candy and baked goods. But don’t stop there—healthy foods like yogurt, tomato sauce and cereal can be “sneaky” sources of added sugars. Spend some time today reading labels. Choose plain or no-sugar-added varieties of your favorite foods, and check the ingredients to make sure sugar either isn’t listed at all, or is listed toward the bottom of the ingredient list.
Recipe to Try: Quinoa Pilaf with Seared Scallops
Whole grains have beneficial nutrients that refined grains are missing, like magnesium (which helps the body produce energy) and fiber, which helps you feel fuller longer. Trade your refined grains for whole grains by eating oatmeal for breakfast, swapping out white pasta, flour and bread for whole-wheat versions, or trying a new-to-you whole grain, like quinoa, freekah or barley.
Recipe to Try: Spaghetti Genovese
Most Americans fall short of reaching the average recommended daily amount of 2½ to 3 cups of vegetables—which means they’re missing out on key vitamins, minerals and fiber. Get more vegetables in your diet by adding them to sandwiches, pastas or stir-fries. Try starting your day with vegetables at breakfast (like in this Greek omelet packed with spinach) and be sure to add veggies to your dinner tonight, like in this salad-topped pizza.
Recipe to Try: Margherita Pizz’alad
Clean eating doesn’t mean giving up meat entirely, but cutting back on meat helps you cut back on saturated fat, which can raise your cholesterol and is bad for your heart. Today, try getting your protein from other sources, such as tofu, eggs, beans, yogurt and nuts.
Recipe to Try: Quinoa Veggie Burger
Americans typically eat 1.5 times the recommended sodium limit of 2,300 mg. According to new research, the average restaurant meal at a full-service restaurant delivered more than 3,500 mg of sodium (yikes!). That’s why cooking healthier meals is key to limiting your salt intake. You can boost flavor without reaching for the salt shaker (or at least use less salt) by using herbs and spices and adding vinegar or citrus to foods. Try a squeeze of lemon on fish or chicken, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil over salad, or dried herbs like oregano and rosemary in soups.
Recipe to Try: Salmon with Toasted Israeli Couscous
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