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Nutrition smarts

Your yummy favorites can be good for you

Mindy Hermann, RD

Provided by HealthMonitor

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Flavor, goodness, gusto—you don’t have to give them up just because you have diabetes and want to keep your heart healthy. For the proof, just read on!

Scoop up chips and dip to steady your blood sugar Just choose baked tortilla chips and fat-free black-bean dip! “Tortilla chips are a whole-grain food made from the whole corn kernel,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, LDN, a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and author of The Flexitarian Diet. And since both whole grains and beans help stabilize blood glucose while supplying cholesterol-lowering fiber, the combo is a winner! Note: Remember to watch portion sizes; stick to about 10 tortilla chips and 2 tablespoons of bean dip.
Another guilt-free South-of-the-Border option: Dip carrots, celery, jicama, broccoli and other raw veggies into salsa and munch away—to control weight, blood pressure and blood glucose.

Enjoy “apple pie” for a healthy fiber boost Fruit may contain carbohydrates, but eating it fresh is a great way to get a full load of vitamins and fiber in a slow-to-absorb way. For a delicious indulgence, try a “crustless apple pie”! Just mix apple chunks with cinnamon and sugar-free sweetener, then pop the mix in the microwave for less than a minute. Scrumptious!

Whip up a stir-fry for a protein-rich feast To get the protein you need, create your own sweet ’n’ sour stir-fry! Heat up a nonstick wok to keep fats low. Toss in your favorite veggies, then add a protein—try tofu (high in soy protein) or skinless chicken breast (low in fat). Add a splash of low-sodium soy sauce, a squeeze of lemon or lime, a touch of sugar-free sweetener and serve atop whole-grain rice, a fiber-rich alternative to white.

Munch Fish “sticks” to help control blood pressure When made with a fish high in omega 3s like salmon, this fish-shack favorite can help lower your blood pressure and provide other cardiovascular benefits. To make, “put a salmon fillet on a piece of foil, top with dill sprigs, lemon slices, a thin coating of pesto and whole-wheat panko bread crumbs. Broil about 12 inches from the heat for eight minutes for every inch of thickness,” suggests Blatner.

Savor spaghetti to whittle your middle Just be sure your spaghetti (or any pasta) is made of whole grains, which have been linked to weight loss and a lower risk of heart disease. Toss with a favorite veggie combo—maybe spinach and garlic—top with oregano or basil, and sprinkle with Parmesan or Romano.

Tip! Position healthy nibbles in your fridge and cupboards so they’re the first thing you see.

Heart-smart cooking strategies
Broil vs. fry: Save about 40 calories for every teaspoon of oil you eliminate. Broil 12 inches from the heat element.
Stovetop grill vs. pan-fry: A stovetop grill is a pan with ridges that allow fat to drain away from the meat. Buy nonstick for easier clean-up and maintenance.
Steam vs. butter/cream sauce: Steaming, whether in the microwave or in a covered pot, preserves nutrition and gives vegetables a bright color and fresh flavor. Sprinkle with a bit of non-sodium seasoning for a little extra kick!
Diabetes Mellitis (Type II) Obesity Weight Loss Dill Heart Disease Diabetes Hypertension Attention Deficit Disorder Lose Weight

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