Monday, June 20, 2011
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy should be the star attractions of a healthy diet, with only cameo appearances by meat. A special section in the June issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter, called "Beyond Meat and Potatoes, The Art of Eating Well," offers ideas and recipes for an appealing, nourishing diet.
Here are some healthy eating tidbits from the Special Report:
Be a new omnivore: No need to swear off meat altogether. But because of the health risks associated with higher cholesterol and saturated fat, it's best to limit meat consumption to less than six ounces a day.
Don't forget the fiber: Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes all parts of plant food that the body can't digest or absorb. It passes through the digestive tract relatively intact. So why bother? Because fiber aids bowel function (and reduces the risk of hemorrhoids), lowers cholesterol levels, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and helps with weight loss. High-fiber foods generally require more chewing time, giving the body time to register that it's full.
Savory not salty: Limiting salt can help keep blood pressure under control, which may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure and kidney problems. Instead of reaching for the salt, consider adding dried or chopped fresh herbs to soup, salads or sandwich fillings. Flavor boosters such as garlic, fresh ginger, citrus zest and juices or flavored vinegars can lift foods from flat to interesting.
Pounds and calories: It takes about 3,500 calories above a person's daily calorie needs to gain a pound of body fat. Likewise, it takes about 3,500 calories under the daily needs to lose a pound of body fat. But a few calories more or less every day start to add up. A person who eats just 100 extra calories a day can gain 10 pounds in one year. Conversely, by eating 100 fewer calories a day, a person can lose 10 pounds in one year.
What's for dinner? The Special Section features 10 easy-to-prepare recipes that go beyond meat and potatoes. Options include broiled trout with tomato and red onion relish, sugar snap peas with fresh marjoram, spicy beef kabobs, grilled pineapple and fresh mixed berries with ginger sauce.
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