10 Ways of Making Your Favorite Foods Healthier

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“You are what you eat.”

It seems the more research that it does regarding nutrition, the more it comes back to this old saying.


What does your family look like, if it’s true? Our family is neither the toxic waste nor the pristine natural wonder.  Somewhere in-between and hoping to be more towards the natural wonder.  There are a few things that stand between us and our ideal.  First, is time.  When time is short, we go for the fast food.  It’s easier and well, faster.  We do try to go toward healthier options like Subway and Apple Dippers.

Eating healthy or health-IER doesn’t have to be difficult.  Here are ten tips to add healthy foods into your diet without adding a new job to your already hectic schedule.

1. Don’t have time to peel fruit?  Go liquid!

Especially for oranges.  According to OrangeJuiceFacts.com, an 8 fluid ounce ( a cup) glass of enriched orange juice gives you these nutritional benefits.

137% of the Daily Value of Vitamin C.  Vitamin C is one of the most important antioxidants and it helps support a healthy immune system. Vitamin C may help neutralize free radicals that can damage cells and tissues and lead to disease.

14% of the Daily Value of Potassium.  Potassium plays an important role in muscle function and may help reduce the risk of stroke and high blood pressure.

11% of the Daily Value of Folate (folic acid).  Folate (Folic Acid) is essential for cell division and healthy red blood cells.

35% of the Daily Value of Calcium.  Calcium (in fortified orange juice) is a key building block for strong, healthy bones and diets diets rich in calcium may also help support healthy blood pressure and promote cardio-vascular health.

7% of the Daily Value of Vitamin B6 which helps the body process energy from the food we eat and is needed for the production of new cells, including healthy red blood cells.

18% of the Daily Value of Thiamin which is associated with the action of many enzyme systems, the conversion of food into energy and the production/repair of DNA.

2. Use whole-grain bread in your sandwich.

There are many brands of whole-grain breads available and this can make a significant change in the amount of dietary fiber in your diet.

Remember when I wrote the post about whole grain rice?  Bread is a similar product.  Bread is made from the flour of the kernel of a grain (usually wheat).  Whole grains contain more of the kernel so less nutrients have been processed out.

For example, Weight Watchers 100% Whole Wheat Bread has zero grams of trans fat and adds 2 grams of fiber.
3.  Speaking of rice, substitute whole-grain white rice into your rice recipes.

Brown and white rice can actually be the same variety of rice, but the processing of the grain is different.  Using a rice huller, the outside layer of the rice grain is removed when creating brown rice.  For white rice, more is removed including the husk or bran.

Q: Why is brown rice considered healthier than white rice?
A: Most of the nutrients are contained in the bran of the rice and when that is removed to make white rice, the nutrients are gone with it.

4.  Grate carrots into your spaghetti sauce.

Sounds crazy, but there are many sauces you can add carrots or sweet potatoes and you will never notice!  Carrots are the richest vegetable source of the pro-vitamin A carotene.  Carotene lower the risk of heart attacks and lung cancer.

5.  Make dips with yogurt instead of sour cream.

Avoid the fat and calories of sour cream and add the goodness of yogurt.  There is a minimal difference in taste and you will learn to love the lighter taste of the yogurt dips.

6.  Substitute Romaine lettuce for Iceberg.

Romaine lettuce has twice the fiber, B vitamins and folate.  It also contains more calcium, potassium and trace minerals–and it has seven times the vitamin C and 18 times the vitamin A.

7.   Substitute nuts for pretzels when you snack.

Pretzels may be low in fat, but nuts are a much better source of protein, magnesium, vitamin E and the B vitamins.  “A weightloss diet that includes moderate amounts of healthy higher-fat foods, such as nuts, may be easier for people to follow than diets with very low fat, so they are more likely to keep off the weight,” says Kathy McManus, R.D., at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

8.  Mix wheat germ into breakfast food batters.

It’s the same reasoning as the whole wheat bread and whole grain rice.  A 1/2 cup of toasted wheat germ “supplies more than half of your daily magnesium needs, as well as hefty amounts of vitamins, including 50 percent of your daily need for folate and 60 percent of your vitamin E requirement. Wheat germ also supplies decent amounts of trace minerals, such as iron and zinc.”

9.  Choose a sweet potato instead of a baked potato.

And it’s not just the beta carotene, a sweet potato has six times as much calcium as a white potato.  Even a small sweet potato packs almost two times your daily allotment of beta carotene which reduces your risk of heat disease and cancer.

10.  When you do go out to eat, order an extra side of salad and vegetables, split the entree, and order fresh fruit for dessert.

Traditional restaurant fare has too much of the protein and fat and less of the nutrition rich fruits and vegetables.  You can realign the balance by splitting an entree between two people but not the sides.  A fresh fruit is not only satisfying but nutritious and delicious!

Conclusion:  You can eat the foods you like and with a few simple substitutions or modifications, make them healthier for you and your family.  Once you learn the foods that are rich in nutrients, get creative and start thinking outside the box!  Experiment and you may be surprised at how much you enjoy the new version of old favorites.

Disclosure:  I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and WeightWatchers SmartOnes blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

About Heinz WeightWatchers SmartOnes:
From breakfast to lunch, dinner, desserts and snacks, Weight Watchers® Smart Ones® has a variety of great tasting, good-for-you meal options to help you manage your weight. So start eating smart, today.


  1. 1

    Love your new look! I’ve been anxiously waiting to see it! I hope you have all the kinks worked out with the switch to WP!


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