Nutrition Optimization (NO) small changes BIG BENEFITS

14 Jan

Last week I talked about nutrition optimization. By nutrition optimization I mean using foods that have more nutrients and limiting foods that have fewer nutrients. You can also eat healthier by substituting foods that contain additives/dyes/preservatives/sweeteners etc…for the same foods that just do not contain these ingredients.

For example: If you are hungry and you eat a salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, broccoli and carrots and you dress it with Russian dressing you can optimize the nutrition of this salad by adding turkey (protein, B6, niacin and selenium) and avocado (carotenoids, vitamin E, monounsaturated fat, fiber, potassium). Switch the dressing from one that is likely to contain corn syrup, sodium Benzoate, calcium disodium Edta (to Preserve Freshness), and a sulfiting agent to olive oil, lemon juice and natural herbs.

The substitute salad with turkey and avocado has staying power. Yes you add calories and natural fat but your body is being nourished with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other health boosting nutrients. This is the key to avoiding both hunger and foraging for food within the hour. You will be more satisfied and full by eating more healthy foods.

This philosophy can be used with foods that you may not consider as healthy. Have you ever noticed that when you pour a bag of chips into a bowl it’s easy to go through the entire bowl and even the whole bag? Why? Chips alone are not filling.

Try this nacho recipe and let me know how it works.

Follow portion sizes listed on the labels. Select a healthier tortilla chip option (ingredients: corn, oil. Sea salt); add salsa and an ounce of shredded part skim mozzarella cheese, top with 2% Greek yogurt (Oikos, Fage, or Chobani). This yogurt is perfect to substitute for sour cream because if you were blind fold you may not be able to tell the difference.

Aside from calories and a little fat, is this more satisfying? Compared with the chips alone, did you feel as ready to go back for as many helping as you did for the chips alone? Here are the nutritional benefits you get:

Salsa: vitamin’s A, B6, C, beta carotene, potassium, magnesium, quercetin, fiber

Cheese: calcium, phosphorous, selenium, protein

Yogurt: protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, live active probiotic cultures—Chobani has five active cultures!

Not only are you optimizing the nutrition value you get from a snack, you take a thoughtless moment of grabbing a handful of chips and create a more meaningful experience: the aroma of food, the taste of more than just chips, and a higher fullness factor!


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