by Charles H. Booras, MD

Our affluent culture has accustomed us to foods that are too high in fat, protein, refined sugar and sodium. But, low-cost, low-calorie carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables are really much better for us.This article will explore the ten best food for our health.

1. BROCCOLI AND CARROTS: The whole family of dark green and deep red veggies are low in calories and loaded with vitamin A and the cancer preventing vitamin, beta carotene. They are also high in fiber.

2. POTATOES: An inexpensive supernutrient. A 5 oz. potato only has 100 calories and gives you a high percentage of vit. C, protein, iron, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin (which helps lower cholesterol), phosphorus and magnesium. Don't cook these jewels in fat or add sour cream or butter. A good addition is yogurt with dill, pepper or horseradish. Consider just putting your vegetables on top instead.

3. PASTA: It's non fattening, but watch the sauce! A good source of protein, vit's and minerals (even the white pasta's). Some sauces can be made very low in fat and calories. Even a spaghetti dinner with meat and tomatoes has less calories and two and one-half the nutrients of just the steak part of a steak dinner. Try using Turkey instead to reduce your meat fat by up to 40%.

4. FRESH FRUIT: A natural dessert loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals. The sugar in fruits is a complex carbohydrate which is much better for you than refined sugar additives. A fruit is better than a juice because it is more slowly absorbed and more substantiative.

5. POPCORN: When unbuttered and unsalted you get a lot of fiber and only 23 calories a cup. Great for snackers and ex-smokers who need to put something in their mouths!

6. OATS: The value of a Cadillac at the cost of a Ford. Oats are a rich source of protein and the stuff that makes it gummy (pectin) will help lower your cholesterol and normalize blood sugar. You can get a protein and calcium bonus by preparing it with skim milk rather than water. Instant oatmeal is not as good due to the extra salt and sugar.

7. YOGURT AND SKIM MILK: A good source of protein and calcium (which helps keep your bones strong). Yogurt is better for you than milk but it's more expensive also. Yogurt makes a good substitute for whipped cream or cream cheese in desserts and is unnoticeable. It's better to add fresh fruit to yogurt than buy it pre-flavored. Frozen yogurt does have less fat than ice cream but still has quite a bit of sugar.

8. FISH: Especially sardines and shellfish! All fish contain an oil to help lower cholesterol and prevent blood clots. Sardines are a good source of calcium when the bones are eaten. Shellfish are very low in calories and it's fat is one that protects you. Include mussels, oysters (not raw!), and shrimp regularly in your diet but don't add saturated fat in the preparation. Order your fish broiled, poached or grilled without butter and get your fatty, high-calorie sauce on the side.

9. BREADS AND WHOLE GRAINS: A staple with every meal. Whole grain breads have 18 more nutrients than white bread. Check your ingredients to make sure you are getting a whole grain such as oats or whole wheat and not just enriched white flour.

10. LENTILS: Such as dried peas and beans. A great source of protein and of cholesterol lowering pectin. They are a high source of fiber and the gas you get from them is a testimony to a healthy diet!

Much of the information for this article came from

"Jane Brody's Good Food Book". Thanks Jane!

 

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