03 Mar Switch Up Your Favorite Foods
By Valentine Reed-Johnson, RD, CDN, Contributing Blogger
We all have our “ways” of eating certain foods. Some ways may be more outside the box than others, but we should always try to embrace new tastes. Seeing as this month’s theme for National Nutrition Month is “Savor the Flavor,” here are some ideas on how to do just that!
High in protein, this soft cheese is an underappreciated food. Choose low fat and low sodium varieties to help cut calories and salt.
The usual: People usually like this cheese with a sweet jam on the side.
Switch it up: Instead try cottage cheese mixed with avocado and topped with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Use as a topper for baked potato.
High in unsaturated fat, avocados have been shown to help lower cholesterol, and increase our good cholesterol (or HDL). Avocados are also high in fiber and antioxidants.
The usual: Most people eat this decadent fruit as a topping on their salads.
Switch it up: Slice the avocado in half, remove the seed, and pour oil, vinegar, and pepper in the hole. It’s an easy, tasty snack!
Greek yogurt has a thick, creamy texture and tart flavor. It has less sugar, sodium, and about twice the amount of protein as traditional yogurt. When purchasing Greek yogurt, look for a LAC “Live and Active Cultures” seal, which have been shown to benefit gut health. Also, choose reduced and fat free varieties to help cut down on calories and fat.
The usual: Many folks sweeten plain, Greek yogurt with honey.
Switch it up: Add 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter for an extra boost of protein or dunk slices of orange into Greek yogurt for a filling snack.
Whole grain rice cakes are low in calories and a fun, crunchy snack. Look for low salt varieties to keep sodium in check.
The usual: Many people eat them plain or with peanut butter.
Switch it up: Top rice cake with hummus and sliced tomatoes, or mashed avocado and Greek yogurt topped with chives. You can also crumble the rice cake into a salad and use as a crouton alternative.
High in protein and vitamins, eggs are a nutrient-packed food. Feared by many for their high cholesterol content, the yolk actually is where most of the vitamins and nutrients are held. In fact, phosphatidylcholine found in the yolk helps prevent cholesterol accumulation in the liver; doing the exact opposite of what people fear.
The usual: People eat their eggs scrambled, hard boiled, or sunny side up. Typically eggs are cooked with butter or oil.
Switch it up: Try making scrambled eggs mixed with Laughing Cow cheese. It makes the eggs fluffy and creamy and adds few calories.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your food! Just because you have eaten something the same way for years doesn’t mean you can’t try something new now. Feel free to post other ideas you have created! Share the change and embrace the taste.
Valentine is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, currently working at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. At the hospital she covers general medicine floors. Eventually, Valentine hopes to open up a private practice alongside her hospital position. Valentine believes in providing practical nutrition knowledge, encouraging others to think logically when it comes to their health. Follow Valentine on twitter or check out her website.