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Tips for Adopting a Healthier Diet

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There is very little new advice on controlling the calories in your diet, but today's greater array of low-fat, low-calorie products and the emphasis on more detailed nutritional labels make following that advice easier, say nutritionists and consumers. Among their tips:

- Eat more salads, says Atlanta mom Kathy Miller. And get your salad dressing on the side. Instead of pouring it over the greens, just ``dink'' your fork into the dressing and taste it a bite at a time. You'll eat half as much.

- Skip meals to lose weight? No way, says Miller. You have to eat to lose weight.'' That includes snacks.At 10 p.m., if I'm hungry, I go and get some yogurt.''

- Experiment with recipes. Miller reduced the sugar in a coleslaw recipe from one cup to one-fourth cup. ``It didn't change the taste at all.''

- Stop scarfing down soft drinks. ``Even chocolate milk is better than soda,'' says dietitian Rachel Brandeis.

- Identify the source of fat, advises Brandeis - in most dishes the fat comes from dairy products - and try to reduce that element. Use cheese with 2 percent milkfat, skim milk, egg whites instead of whole eggs and margarine instead of butter.

- Don't eat quite so much at one time. Portion control is boring,'' says Brandeis, andno one wants to hear that.'' But it works. For example, Brandeis says, at a certain chain restaurant, the cheesecake portions served at dessert could feed 10 people. Don't eat it all; share it.

- Offer sliced fruit as part of a meal, not just for dessert.

- Parents who want their children to eat a healthier diet must set the example themselves. Parents need to be modeling the behavior for their children,'' says Ruth Kava of Washington, a nutritionist with the American Council on Science and Health. Children won't eat wellif their parents are having fried chicken and french fries for dinner every night.''


(The Cox web site is at )

c.2003 Cox News Service

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