Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tips for Eating Healthy during the Holidays

These are a few tips that will help you enjoy a healthy holidays:

1. Start your meal with soup as your appetizer. Research shows that people who eat soup regularly lose more weight than people who don’t.

2. Thicken your soup and sauces with cornstarch instead of cream. Cornstarch is very low in calories. One tablespoon of cornstarch contains 30 calories and 0 gram fat. In many occasions, you will only need two tablespoons of cornstarch to replace one cup of cream. One cup of cream contains 580 calories and 60 grams of fat so if you use cornstarch instead of cream, you will reduce 520 calories and 60 grams of fat from your soup.

3. Eat a healthy staple food. After the low-carb diet craze, it seems like Americans don’t know what a staple food is, let alone a healthy staple food. In Asia, people always eat their dishes with a healthy staple food which is big in volume but low in calorie content. This kind of food makes us full while contributing a small amount of calories. Rice is a healthy staple food because it is rich in water content. Seventy percent of the volume of steamed rice is just water. So when you eat rice with your dishes, you will feel full quicker, thus prevent you from overeating. The healthiest type of rice is brown basmati rice. Brown basmati is rich in fiber and resistant starch. According to experts while 1 gram of carbohydrate gives us 4 calories, 1 gram of fiber and resistant starch give us anywhere between 0-3 calories. In addition to that, fiber and resistant starch help control our blood sugar level and satiety.

4. Drink plain tea, water or diet drinks. Many people watch what they eat but they don’t realize that they consume a lot of calories from their drinks. A 12 fluid ounces of soda or juice contains about 150 calories which is equal to 6 Hershey kisses.

5. If you serve salad, make sure that you use low calorie dressings. Many people who go on a “salad diet” become frustrated because even though they eat healthy all the time, they still don’t lose weight. A small 2 oz package of ranch dressings contains 170 calories and 15 grams of fat which has almost as many calories as 7 Hersey kisses.