Nutrition Tips

Myths about Drinks:

  1. Diet soda is healthier than regular soda. One can of regular soda contains about 135 kilocalories. A can of diet soda contains less than 10 calories; some even contain zero calories. Though diet soda contains fewer calories, it is rather difficult to say that diet soda is "healthier" because there is nothing healthy about artificially colored and flavored water.

  2. It is less fattening to drink juice than milk. Perhaps surprisingly, a glass of juice contains more calories than a glass of 1% milk. Even 2% milk has only 10 calories more than a glass of fruit juice, which has 120 calories! While juice contains mostly sugar (and some vitamins), milk has more nutrients such as protein, calcium, potassium, and vitamin D.

  3. All bottled waters such as sparkling water, tonic water, flavored water, and mineral water are water. Yes, plain bottled water is water and is calorie-free. Some flavored waters are made with water and real juice, though many flavored waters contain artificial sweeteners and little juice. Tonic water, for instance, has 125 calories per serving. Always read the label and check the ingredient list. If you drink bottled water instead of tap water regularly, make sure it contains fluoride.

  4. Drinking wine instead of beer won’t make a beer-belly. It is common misconception that wine contains fewer calories than beer. It is simply not true. One glass of wine (5 ounces) contains about 130 calories whereas one bottle of beer (12 ounces) has about 150 calories. Therefore, wine contains more calories on a per-ounce basis. As a general rule, the sweeter the wine, the more sugar and calories it contains. Similarly, for hard liquor, the higher the proof, the higher the calories.
    ****Remember this when considering a second helping of alcohol: Calories from alcohol are stored as fat in the abdomen. So, if you drink alcohol on a regular basis (regardless of what kind), watch out for the beer-belly!

  5. Coffee is the main source of caffeine. Some people quit drinking coffee to cut back on caffeine, not considering that caffeine is often in tea and canned drinks (including canned energy drinks). Generally there is no harm to your health from moderate amounts of coffee. People with high blood pressure and pregnant women should speak with their doctors about limiting caffeine consumption.

Dining Out and Healthy Eating:

  1. Avoid ordering an appetizer. It's a little known fact that some appetizers have more calories and fat than the main course. Plus, many appetizers are fried and served with heavy sauces which will add to your intake of saturated fat as well as trans fats and calories. It's not a healthy way to start your meal.

  2. Say "yes" to salad. Salad is a healthy eater's best friend. Not only will it fill you up so you’ll consume fewer calories overall, but it will also give you a hefty dose of antioxidants which are heart healthy. Be sure to ask your waitress to hold the croutons and cheese which will further reduce your caloric load. Also, choose your dressing wisely. Avoid cream based dressings and go for the vinegar based ones. You also have the option of using vinegar and olive oil which is heart healthy.

  3. Make the right entree selection. Go for broiled and grilled rather than fried. Not only will you save calories and fat grams, you will also avoid trans fats which are so prevalent in fried foods. Instead, consider asking for a double order of vegetables with your entree. Very few Americans are getting the 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables recommended for optimal health. Plus, by avoiding the starch, you will be reducing your caloric and carbohydrate load. Also, stick to tomato based sauces rather than cream based and you will enjoy a considerable calorie savings. Lastly, ask for the sauce to be served in a separate dish on the side so you can control the amount you eat.

  4. Think about what you are drinking with your meal. By not ordering an alcoholic beverage, you have saved yourself a considerable number of calories. Try sipping iced tea sweetened with a non caloric sweetener, a diet soft drink, or water with lemon. You will be glad you did when you consider the calories savings.

  5. Indulge your sweet tooth wisely. Many of the chain restaurants now offer a low fat or low carbohydrate dessert selection such as a low carb cheesecake. These are wise choices for the health conscious eater and still allow you to end the meal on a sweet note. If a healthy dessert option is not available, try a cup of coffee with skim milk to help satiate your desire for something sweet.