Posts Tagged ‘Elana Zimelman’

Heart Health Boosting Foods

February 17, 2015 Leave a comment

This month we celebrate heart health. There are many powerful foods that deliver big benefits to reduce your risk of heart disease. Here are a few super-stars that you may want to incorporate into your routine. All of these foods are loaded with heart-protective components that will keep your heart strong and pumping.

This fatty fish ranks high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fats may reduce inflammation throughout the body which can cause damage to your blood vessels and lead to heart disease. These healthy fats may also lower cholesterol, blood pressure, reduce blood clotting, decrease stroke and risk for heart failure. Try to eat fatty fish, like salmon, two to three times a week.

These berries are bursting with antioxidants, specifically the phytonutrient polyphenol. Anti-oxidants are potent substances that reduce inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of heart disease, along with other chronic diseases. Add blueberries to yogurt or smoothies. Frozen blueberries are just as nutritionally packed as fresh!

Everyone loves avocados! These fruits are packed with mono-unsaturated fat that bumps up your good HDL cholesterol and lowers risk of heart disease. Recent research shows a link between consuming avocados daily and reducing bad LDL cholesterol. Avocados also contain vitamin B 6 and folic acid which are also beneficial to your heart. Enjoy avocados in salads or as a sandwich spread instead of mayo several times a week.

Walnuts contain a wealth of omega-3 fats in the world of nuts. If you’re not a fan of salmon or other fatty fish, this is a great way to fit these fats into your diet. Walnuts also contain vitamin E which is an antioxidant that may protect your heart. Enjoy walnuts on salads or as a crunchy snack. Try to eat nuts at least 3 times a week- 4 or five times is even better!

Oatmeal is good news for your heart. The type of soluble fiber in oats, beta-glucans, forms a gooey mass in your stomach, trapping cholesterol and transporting it out of the body before it can get absorbed into your blood, thus lowering your LDL cholesterol levels. It takes about 1 ½ cups of cooked oatmeal (equal to ¾ cups dry) to get the maximum benefit. Try to eat oatmeal several times a week. Top with blueberries and walnuts- two other star foods on the list!

For information on nutrition consultations at Cooper Clinic visit or call 972.560.2655.

Bean Basics

January 20, 2015 1 comment

Depending on the variety, a half cup of cooked dry beans has about 120 calories, 7-8 grams protein and about 6 grams fibKnower.

Known as nutritional “powerhouses,” there are so many reasons to celebrate beans! Beans are low in fat and high in fiber and protein and also serve as good sources of folate, calcium and iron. Beans fit under not one but two food groups: vegetables and meat/protein. Nutritionally higher in carbohydrates than non-starchy vegetables, beans also count towards the goal of getting 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Benefits of Beans

Beans promote a healthy weight because of their high protein and high fiber content. Fiber creates a feeling of fullness that keeps you satisfied from one meal to the next. Depending on the variety, a half cup of cooked dry beans has about 120 calories, 7-8 grams protein and about 6 grams fiber. Check out the nutrient profiles for several beans in the table listed.

Reduce risk of disease: Research has shown that eating just a half a cup of beans several times a week helps reduce your risk of heart disease. There are also correlations between eating beans and reducing risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

How to Fit Beans into Your Routine

  • Pick a meatless meal (like the popular Meatless Mondays) for the week and use beans for your protein.
  • Buy frozen, dry or canned beans- they are all healthy! Rinse canned beans to reduce sodium by almost 40 percent.
  • Reduce gas-producing side effects with the following tips. If you are cooking dry beans, discard the soaking water and rinse the beans thoroughly before cooking. Take Beano, an over-the-counter gas remedy, prior to eating your first bite.
  • Kidney beans are great for chili and three-bean salad.
  • Pinto beans can be refried for dips or served as side dish. They are also popular in stews. You can buy fat-free refried beans for a healthier option.
  • Navy beans are perfect in soups, stews, or baked beans.
  • Lentils are great in soups and stews.
  • Garbanzo beans can be tossed into salads or used to make hummus dip.

Nutrient Profiles of Various Dried Beans: (Per ½ cup serving)

Baby Lima   Black Beans Black-eyed Peas Baby Lima Beans Pinto Beans Red Kidney Beans
Calories 114 calories 100 calories 115 calories 118 calories 109 calories
Carbohydrates 20g 18g 21g 22g 19g
Protein 8g 7g 7g 7g 8g
Fiber 4g 6g 6g 6g 4g
Fat 0g 0g 0g 0g 0g
Sodium 0g 3mg 3mg 2mg 4g
Iron 2mg 2mg 2mg 2mg 2mg
Folate 128mcg 179mcg 137mcg 147mcg 65mcg

You really can’t go wrong with any type of beans. Try incorporating these little gems into your routine and you will reap all the potential health benefits. Set a goal; aim to eat beans 4 times a week!

For information on Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services call 972.560.2655 or visit

Saluting Spaghetti Squash: A Power Food

December 30, 2014 2 comments

Ten fruits/vegetables a day will help lower blood pressure (from potassium) and can cut a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer by almost half.

Winter is the perfect time to try out different varieties of fall and winter-type squash. There are many to choose from and some of the popular standouts are acorn, butternut, pumpkin and spaghetti. My personal favorite is spaghetti squash. Like its namesake it can be a perfect swap for noodles in various recipes which call for pasta. It’s a great way to bump up your veggie intake while trimming down on carbs. I love it because it’s delicious and easy to prepare. Spaghetti squash is also referred to as squaghetti, vegetable spaghetti and noodle squash.

What is spaghetti squash?
Spaghetti squash is an oval shaped yellow fruit that contains a stringy flesh and a mild taste. It can also be found in ivory or orange colors; the orange kinds have higher beta-carotene content. The center contains many large, edible seeds.

Nutrition Facts
Spaghetti squash is packed with nutrients including folic acid, potassium, vitamin A and beta carotene. It’s low in calories and fairly low in carbs, especially compared to starchy noodles. In fact, spaghetti has about five times the calories as spaghetti squash

Nutritional Analysis | One cup, cooked
Calories: 42
Fat: <0.5g
Sodium: 28 mg
Carbs: 10 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sugar: 4 g
Protein: 1 g

Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven or Microwave

With a very sharp knife, chop off the top or bottom of the squash so it will stand flat and secure on your cutting board. Be very careful as you slice it in half lengthwise. Then use a spoon to scrape out all of the seeds.

To bake in the oven: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush the inside of each half with olive oil and optionally sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Place the cut sides down on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork. Cool for about 15 minutes, or until squash is cool enough to handle. With a fork, scrape out the spaghetti-like strands and prepare as desired.

Or to microwave: Place squash cut sides down in a microwavable baking dish. Fill the dish with about one inch of water. Microwave on high for about 12 minutes, or until you can easily pierce with a fork. Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the squash. Cool for about 15 minutes, or until the squash is cool enough to handle. With a fork, scrape out the strands and prepare as desired.

Preparation Tips

  • Toss cooked squash in chunky marinara sauce
  • Top with lean protein such as 97% lean ground beef or ground turkey breast
  • Lightly toss strands in olive oil and spices and top with grated parmesan
  • Make a tomato basil spaghetti squash bake
  • Prepare spiced squash pancakes
  • Save the seeds and roast them with olive oil and salt or for a sweet, spicy kick mix in honey, paprika and cayenne pepper

Spaghetti squash is versatile vegetable that is easy to make, delicious to eat and has a high nutrient profile you can’t beat. Try it this season to balance out all the calorie-laden carbs and sweets. You might surprise yourself how good it is and make it a new fall favorite.

Find more recipes from Cooper Clinic Dietitians here.

What’s New About the Proposed New Food Labels?

Earlier this year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made a formal proposal to update the “nutrition facts” labels on food products to more accurately reflect the current health concerns and eating habits of Americans. These changes will update the current labels that have been around for the past 20 years and will be based on the most current and reliable science.

Americans are now increasingly health conscious and more interested in what’s in their food. Research has shown that between 2007 and 2014, there has been an 8% increase in reading food labels in the age group of 29-68 year olds. Revising the current labels to be more easily decipherable will make it easier for consumers to better understand what to look for when making informed food choices.

The future proposed changes are in the following areas.

Serving Size. Many of the serving sizes will be increased to more realistically reflect how much people actually eat. For example, the current label on a carton of ice cream lists a standard serving as half a cup, but most people typically eat more than half a cup. Read tips to control your portions.

Total Calories. Total calories will be listed more prominently and possibly in bold print towards the top of the new label. The number of calories is one of the most important things to note. While Americans’ waist lines are ever expanding, it’s become increasingly important to pay more attention to calories consumed. It will also make calorie counting easier.

Calories from Fat. This line will be removed from the new labels which will focus more attention on the breakdown of fats. Research shows that the type of fat is more important than the calories from fat. Labels will continue to list total fat, saturated and trans fat.

Sugars. The new labels will note how much added sugar is in the product. At this time, you cannot differentiate how much sugar comes from added sugars versus natural sources found in fruit and milk. This will make it easier for Americans to follow the American Heart Association’s guidelines for limiting added sugar. The recommendations state that men should consume no more than 150 calories a day from added sugar and women no more than 100 calories a day from added sugar.

Daily Values. There will also be updates to sodium, dietary fiber, vitamin D, potassium, calcium and iron. These will be based on the current needs that have changed over the 20 year period.

With more than a third of Americans obese, paying more attention to the labels in their new and improved format is great news! Studies show that people who read labels tend to eat more healthfully. Food knowledge can be a powerful tool!

For information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition services, click here or call 972.560.2655.

Popular Salads from Around the World

June 12, 2014 2 comments

Prioritize fruit and veggie servings – five is fine, but nine is divine!

Do you get tired of eating the same boring salad day in and day out? To spice things up, try venturing outside of your basic plate of greens to a world of international salads that will delight your taste buds. All three of these salads are built with healthy ingredients however we made some minor adjustments that will not sacrifice the taste. You may never grow bored of salad again!

Tabouli is a Middle Eastern salad made from bulgur wheat, finely chopped parsley, scallions and tomatoes.  This tangy crunchy salad is dressed with a blend of lemon juice and olive oil. Use less olive oil for a lighter dish. As a variation try wheat berries in place of the traditional bulgur wheat. Both are excellent sources of whole grains and fiber. Use part mint and part parsley for a refreshing twist. Swap out the scallions for a white onion. Tabouli is traditionally served over Romaine lettuce but also goes well with whole grain pita wedges as a light appetizer. It is a low calorie dish with about 80 calories per ½ cup serving.

Greek salads are very popular, found in both Greek and non-Greek restaurants alike. There are variations to this dish but the basic vegetable ingredients include tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, and green bell peppers.  Interestingly, the traditional version does not include lettuce. Seasonings include a sprinkling of dried oregano and minced garlic. Whisk these together with a high quality extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. You may use less oil and more vinegar than the recipe calls for. The vinegar offers extra flavor and virtually no calories, sodium or fat. Top salad with flavorful Feta cheese crumbles or cubes and Greek Kalamata olives.  You may garnish with pickled pepperoncini for a hot kick. The heart healthy fats of olive oil and olives make this salad a real winner. Feta cheese is typically not high in fat but you may use a reduced-fat version to save one gram of artery-clogging saturated fat without sacrificing one bit of taste.

Salad Nicoise is a French tuna and vegetable salad that can be served as a main dish. Its high protein content with tuna and eggs make this salad very satiating. The vinaigrette dressing is so simple, containing four basic ingredients: red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced scallions and olive oil (add salt and pepper to taste). The salad base is plentiful with greens and topped with tomato wedges, bell pepper strips, basil leaves and black olives. Hard boiled eggs and canned tuna garnish the top. Grilled tuna steaks may be used as a variation. Outside of France boiled potatoes and cooked green beans are very popular additions. This is another heart healthy salad rich in omega-3 fats found in tuna and monounsaturated fats in olive oil and olives.

Whether you are looking for a main dish, appetizer or light salad to accompany your meal, try something new with an international twist and make your salad come to life again!

View salad recipes from Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionists on our website and follow our Cooperized Recipes board on Pinterest.

What to Eat for Better Sleep

Research shows that sleep deprivation slows the metabolism, makes weight loss difficult and is an additional stressor on the body.

Research shows that sleep deprivation slows the metabolism, makes weight loss difficult and is an additional stressor on the body.

Did you know that what you eat can affect your sleep? There are certain foods that can improve your sleep and others that can disrupt your sleep. Let’s look at how to eat better to get a good night’s rest.

Research has shown that people who reported sleeping less than five hours a night consume more calories than those who slept more than seven hours. Other studies have suggested that sleep deprivation interferes with the hunger and satiety signals. People who don’t get enough sleep may have an imbalance of these hormones, putting them at greater risk for health problems including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and depression. Getting your z’s really does impact your health!

Foods that Improve Sleep

  • Foods with tryptophan. Tryptophan is a sleep-promoting amino acid substance. You may have heard that turkey makes us drowsy because of the tryptophan, however this may not be the case. Mostly carbohydrate foods with tryptophan cause sleepiness (turkey and animal-based proteins do not contain carbohydrates). Good sources of tryptophan include dairy, nuts and seeds, bananas and honey.
  • Combining carbohydrates with dairy. Pair dairy sources with carbohydrate-rich foods to increase blood levels of tryptophan. Try yogurt and whole grain crackers, a small bowl of fiber-rich cereal and fat free milk, or a slice of whole wheat bread and low-fat cheese.
  • Light bedtime snack. This may contradict the unwritten “rule” of not eating before bedtime, however if you have trouble sleeping, there’s truth in eating a light bite to help you fall asleep. Remember to keep it small and light. A heavy snack will make your digestive system run on overtime, hindering sleep.
  • Herbal teas. These can have a sedative affect. Pour yourself a warm cup of chamomile, passion flower tea or valerian as a calming routine at night.

Foods that Hinder Sleep

  • Heavy dinner meal. Overeating at night causes a lot of strain on your digestive system that interferes with sleep. Eating late may also cause you to have heartburn. Try to finish your meal at least three hours before bedtime.
  • Alcohol. Although a few drinks may help you fall asleep, too much will disrupt the important REM “restorative” sleep cycle. Alcohol can cause your blood sugar to drop and wake you up in the middle of the night.
  • High tyramine foods. Avoid pork, chocolate and wine before bedtime because they contain the amino acid tyramine. Tyramine converts to noradrenaline, a brain stimulant.
  • Excess protein. Protein-rich foods that are also high in fat are harder to digest than carbohydrates and can make it more difficult to sleep.
  • High-fat foods and spicy foods. A high-fat meal and spicy foods can disrupt your sleep so skip the fried, rich and spicy foods, especially at night.
  • Hidden caffeine. Even moderate amounts of caffeine can disrupt sleep. Don’t forget less obvious sources in chocolate, soda and even decaf coffee. Cut the caffeine at least four to six hours prior to bedtime. Beware of some over-the-counter headache and cold medicines that may contain caffeine, too.
  • Excess water. Cut off drinking water and other fluids a few hours before bedtime. Drinking too much late at night may interrupt your sleep if it causes you to get up and use the restroom often.

Better sleep “hygiene” is possible with a few tweaks to your diet routine. Test them out and see if you can get a better night’s sleep!

For more information on Nutrition consultations at Cooper Clinic for you and your family click here or call 972.560.2655.

Tips for Your Trip to the Farmer’s Market

The next time you plan your visit to the grocery store, consider your local farmer’s market instead. There’s a wealth of fresh produce to fill up your reusable tote bags. What’s in season? What’s not? To get the most from your experience, consider a few things.

Reasons to Shop at the Farmer’s Market

  • You are making a difference by supporting your local farmers and their success will grow.
  • The produce is picked at the peak of the season, so it’s naturally more flavorful compared to your grocery store items that may not be as fresh from transit to store. In many cases, the market offers lower prices.
  • Follow the simple rule of thumb to eat a rainbow of colors to get a variety of cancer-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals that different colors offer.

What’s in season right now?

  • Fruits: apples, avocados, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, Texas grapefruit, kiwi, lemons, oranges, papayas, pears, pineapple, raspberries, tangelos and tangerines
  • Vegetables: asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, radicchio, Belgian endive, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, kale, leeks, lettuces, mushrooms, parsnips, peppers, russet potatoes and new potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, shallots, spinach, sugar snaps, snow peas, squash and sweet potatoes

Strategies for Shopping at the Farmer’s Market

  • Do some research and plan ahead. Seek out what’s in season and know before you go. Think about what meals and snacks you’re planning for the week and guide your purchases around that.
  • Take a stroll around and scan what’s there to decide what and where to buy, instead of settling on the first vendor you walk up to. There are so many choices and the same foods reappear. You might get a sweeter tasting watermelon at one vendor versus another.
  • Try before you buy. Take advantage of taste testing. The vendors offer a plethora of samples so you can taste all the lovely fresh food before you buy it.
  • Get creative and adventurous. Here’s a great opportunity to experiment with foods. You may discover that you like fresh figs, which by the way, are loaded in fiber. Find out how to use certain foods and get new and fresh ideas. Ask your vendor their favorite way to prepare a particular food. You might leave with some new recipes. You may not realize all the uses for a single food. Make it a learning experience for the whole family!
  • Stock up. Buy your favorite foods in season and then freeze them for later when that food is off season. A good example of this would be berries that freeze well.
  • Make requests. Don’t be shy to ask questions. If you are buying for one or two people you may ask for half a basket of an item to get the amount you really “need.” It’s better to buy two tomatoes and actually use them, than a large basket of six tomatoes and realize the other four have spoiled by the end of the week.
  • Have fun! Make your visit to the farmer’s market a field trip for you and your family. You’ll leave with some super nutritious fresh food, some extra knowledge, and maybe even a bit more passion about filling your plate with a rainbow of colors.

To receive more health tips from Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, click here.

Go Greek with Yogurt

Studies show that people who regularly eat breakfast are more likely to manage their weight than those who do not.

The Greek yogurt industry is booming. According to the Wall Street Journal it has grown from 1 percent in 2007 to 35 percent in 2014. Greek yogurt now makes up one third of all yogurts in stores and continues to take up more shelf space. A huge part of its popularity is the allure of a higher protein content and less sugar than its regular yogurt counterparts; but this is not the case for all of Greek yogurts so be sure to read the food label to make the healthiest choice.

What is Greek yogurt?

Greek yogurt is made by straining off the liquid whey, which concentrates its protein content, making it two to three times higher in protein than traditional yogurt. It is also lower in lactose (the natural sugar found in milk), and therefore some of its calcium is lost in the straining process. One of reasons it can be more expensive than regular yogurt is because it requires three times the amount of milk. As for the taste, it is naturally creamy and tangy and comes in nonfat, low fat and full fat varieties.

What to look for on the labels:

There are certain nutrients that make some Greek yogurts nutritionally preferable over others; but there is something to please everyone’s taste buds. Look at:

  • Calories: for a lower calorie yogurt, look for 150 calories or less.
  • Total fat: nonfat is best, but if you select one that has less than 2-3 grams per serving, that’s okay, too. More importantly, find one that is low in saturated fat, with less than 1.5-2 grams per serving.
  • Sugar: most flavored Greek yogurts contain more sugar that is added for taste. Look for less than 15-20 grams per serving; note that around 7 grams of the sugar listed comes from the natural sugar in milk.
  • Protein: for a higher protein profile, find a yogurt with at least 10 grams of protein.
  • Calcium: ideally select one that has at least 15 percent daily value (or 150 mg) of calcium per serving.
  • Ingredients: plain nonfat Greek yogurt typically has a short list of ingredients that includes nonfat milk and live active yogurt cultures. For sweetness, flavored yogurt has either evaporated cane juice, sugar or fructose or it has added artificial low calorie sweeteners, such as sucralose or stevia. Some yogurts have fruit or pureed fruit folded into the yogurt or on the side. In some of the newer lower calorie yogurts, chicory root fiber is added.

How different popular brands stack up:

Plain unsweetened nonfat Greek yogurt:

  • Fage® Total 0% (6 oz.): 100 calories; 0g fat; 18g protein; 7g sugar; 200mg calcium
  • Chobani® 0% (6 oz.): 100 calories; 0g fat; 18g protein; 7g sugar; 200mg calcium

Flavored nonfat Greek yogurt with added sugar:

  • Fage® (5.3 oz.): 120 calories; 0g fat; 13g protein; 16g sugar; 150mg calcium
  • Chobani® (5.3 oz.): 120 calories; 0g fat; 12g protein; 16g sugar; 150mg calcium
  • Dannon® Oikos (5.3 oz.): 130 calories; 0g fat; 12g protein; 19g sugar; 150mg calcium

Flavored nonfat Greek yogurt with artificial sweeteners:

  • Dannon® Light & Fit Greek (5.3 oz.): 80 calories; 0g fat; 12g protein; 7g sugar; 150mg calcium (with added Sucralose)
  • Yoplait® Greek 100 Calorie (5.3 oz.): 100 calories; 0g fat; 10g protein; 9g sugar; 100mg calcium (with added Sucralose)
  • Chobani® Simply 100 (5.3 oz.); 100 calories; 0g fat; 12g protein; 6g sugar; 150mg calcium (with added Stevia)

Creative ways to incorporate Greek yogurt:

  • Whip up a savory veggie dip or creamy dressing with all the rich texture and zero grams of fat. Mix plain nonfat yogurt with lemon juice, onion flakes, garlic powder and Italian herbs.
  • Swap for high fat mayonnaise in creamy salads and side dishes such as potato, egg, pasta salads and  coleslaw.
  • Blend yogurt in smoothies as a high protein alternative to nonfat milk or protein powder.
  • Substitute sugar-loaded syrup with yogurt as a topping for whole grain waffles or oatmeal pancakes.
  • Create a yogurt parfait for a sweet dessert or satisfying protein and carb snack with layers of yogurt, fruit and a high fiber granola cereal.

For more nutrition tips, download the Cooper Clinic Nutrition brochure, call 972.560.2655 or request an appointment online.

Eat More For Less

February 17, 2014 Leave a comment

What if you could eat more food for fewer calories? The trick is to fill up on the right foods that satisfy your hunger but carry a lower calorie count. These types of foods tend to be high in water and fiber content so you can eat in volume, feel fuller and consume a lesser amount of calories.

Calorie density is simply the number of calories in a certain volume of food.  Low calorie density foods have fewer calories per bite. For example, three cups of popcorn has only 80 calories. High calorie density foods are higher in calories for a smaller amount. One cup of nuts has more than 800 calories. Do the math and that’s eight times more calories than popcorn!

“The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet” by Barbara Rolls, introduces the concept of Volumetrics. The Volumetrics Plan is based on low calorie density options such as water-based and higher fiber foods like fruits, vegetables and broth soups, balanced out with other healthy choices such as high fiber whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean meats. Limit foods high in sugar and fat-even healthy fat found in nuts, avocados and olive oil (because of the high-calorie load).

Many years of research have proven that the quantity of food we eat has a greater impact on satiety than the actual number of calories. Satiety is the full feeling at the end of a meal that signals our brain that we have eaten enough. This is great news for many of us who like to eat a fuller plate of food and still slim down. It follows the My Plate guidelines of filling half your plate with vegetables, one quarter with lean protein and one quarter with healthy carbs. So how is this done? See the tips below for tricks to eat more for less.

How to Volumize Your Diet:

  1. Pile on the vegetables. Vegetables are one of the best examples of low energy density foods because they contain high water and fiber content for a minimal number of calories.  Plus they are super-nutritious! One half cup of cooked vegetables or 2 cups of leafy greens has about 25 calories and an average of two grams of satisfying fiber. Pile your plate with volumes of Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, okra, spinach, kale and romaine lettuce.
  2. Fill up on fluids. Choose water-rich foods such as fruit to accompany a meal or as a fiber-packed snack. One serving of most fruits has about 60 calories, such as 1 ¼ cup strawberries or watermelon and ¾ cup blackberries, blueberries or fresh pineapple. Other ways to get more volume from fluid is to serve a broth-based soup prior to or with a meal or drink a glass of water or a sugar-free beverage before a meal.
  3. Slash the fat. Cut down on oil, butter, eggs and high-fat dairy, such as whole milk, cream, full fat salad dressings and cheese. Replace these with lower fat options such as fat free milk, reduced fat cheese, lower fat dressings, egg whites and non-fat yogurt. Choose leaner meats, fish and skinless poultry, and trim any visible fat.

Simple Swaps: Choose This vs. That

  • One cup air-popped popcorn (31 calories) vs. one cup regular potato chips (137 calories)
  • One cup grapes (104 calories) vs. one cup raisins (434 calories)
  • One cup Kashi® GOLEAN Crunch!® Cereal (190 calories) vs. one cup Kellogg’s® Low Fat Granola (380 calories)
  • One cup Progresso® Vegetable Minestrone soup (100 calories) vs. one cup Campbell’s® Cream of Mushroom soup (200 calories)
  • One Yasso Greek frozen yogurt bar (80 calories) vs. one Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla ice cream bar (300 calories)

For more nutrition tips, download the Cooper Clinic Nutrition brochure, call 972.560.2655 or request an appointment online.

Toss This, Try That: A Healthy Game Plan for Super Bowl Sunday

January 31, 2014 Leave a comment

Super Bowl Sunday is quickly approaching. Not surprisingly it’s one of the biggest calorie-fests of the year, second to Thanksgiving, with the average football fan consuming about a day’s worth of calories from the first quarter to the last. The U.S. Calorie Control Council estimates that Americans pack away 11 million pounds of chips and 1.25 billion chicken wings on just this one day alone! If you intercept with some smart eating strategies you don’t have to toss out all your nutrition plans for the New Year on Super Bowl Sunday.

1) Prepare a healthy dish. Whether you’re hosting or attending a party, you can provide some healthy options to accompany all the other “less healthy” dishes. Whip up a calorie-conscious dip by subbing out high fat for low fat ingredients. For example take a recipe for spinach artichoke dip and make it with light mayonnaise, reduced fat cream cheese and part-skim mozzarella. Pair it with baked chips and you have a delicious treat! You can turn the many “traditional” football-watching eats from nutrition disasters to real winners, such as baked veggie fries made with zucchini sticks, oven “fried” chicken breast strips, turkey bean chili made with extra lean ground meat and high fiber beans. Check out our recipes here.

2) Kick off with fiber-rich vegetables. Go straight for the raw veggie platter first. Go easy on dips and dressings, even if they are low fat. Portion out 2-3 tablespoons of dip on your plate. Go back for seconds of low-calorie vegetables instead of the high-calorie foods.

3) Pass on Super Bowl-sized portions. Use a small plate to sample a small amount of the less healthy foods. Pick your most favorite item whether it’s chicken wings, pizza or burgers and plate a half or even a third of what you normally would. Skip the stuff you don’t “love.” Avoid seconds except for the veggies.

4) Don’t hang out by the food table. Take your plate and plant yourself far away from the food. Focus on the game and hanging out with friends instead of standing near the spread. This will make it much easier to be mindful of how much you eat and keep you from continuously filling up your plate.

5) Alternate alcohol with water and other zero-calorie beverages. Drink a bottle of water prior to the festivities and have an intentional plan to drink less alcohol. The more you drink, the lower your resistance is to overeat. Enjoy your favorite drink of choice, whether it’s a cocktail, wine or beer, and do so with more reserve. It’s easier than you think to alternate alcohol with sparkling or bottled water, unsweetened tea or a diet beverage. Try it!

6) Get back on track. So you may have exceeded your daily calorie load on Super Bowl Sunday, but not all is lost. Don’t let that one day get you discouraged. Pull back on your food intake for the next couple of days and get up and move your body.

End the first month of the New Year with resolve to mindfully manage Super Bowl Sunday and it will be a win-win situation for you and your favorite team.

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