1. Don’t Undress the Vegetable!
Leave the skins on your cucumber, broccoli, potato and carrots and get the benefit Mother Nature has provided — fiber, vitamins and valuable nutrients.
2. Red Light, Green Light
Think of your carbs as the stop light at the intersection.
Carbs that get the green light are the “high-fiber” fruits and vegetables, except for potatoes, bran cereals and legumes. Eat plenty of these.
Carbs that get the yellow light are carbs that are “medium/low-fiber” such as banana, tomato, squash and all cereals (except whole bran) and grains (therefore bread and pasta), potatoes, rice and pearl barley.
Carbs that get the red light and should be avoided in your daily plan are the low-fiber and simply carbs such as white flour, white sugar, juices, sweets and candy.
Don’t forget, alcohol is a simple carb and gets the red light, with the exception of red wine, which is reported, if consumed with a meal, to aid the digestion of foods. The key is consuming red wine with a meal and limiting the portion to 5-6 ounces. If consuming alcohol, always drink responsibly and with consideration for yourself and others.
3. Eat Protein with Your Carbs
Why? It slows the conversion of sugar allowing your body to use more of that sugar (carbohydrate) as fuel instead of being stored as fat.
4. Give Yourself a Hand
Of carbs that is. Use the palm of your hand as your guide when figuring your portions. Simple rule; two palms for leafy and one palm for veggies and fruits.
5. Be Free of Fat Free
How does it taste good when it is fat free? Because the fat has been replaced with sugar! When sugar is not used, it is converted and stored as fat, and not all fat is created equal. I say, “Eat Fat”, but choose your fat wisely. Olive oil, nuts and fats from vegetables are all excellent sources of fat. Fats such as olive oil are important for your immune system, hair, skin and joints. Research has also found that olive oil may influence body fat distribution, storing less fat around the stomach. Recent studies into the health benefits of olive oil have found that it can lower the risk of coronary heart disease by reducing blood cholesterol levels. So, don’t be afraid to add olive oil and other natural oils from vegetables and nuts to your food plan. Just remember, a little bit goes a long way.