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Better Food Choices
Skip This, Eat That!

In my previous column I asked you to track your calories for 6 days. My goal was to help you get an idea of what you're eating and drinking every day.

Now I want you to go through the following food groupings. Make sure you're getting the recommended daily allowance from EACH of the six groups. To help you make healthier choices, I've divided them into two columns, one that you should skip and one that you can eat.

For an easy to reference downloadable version of the chart, CLICK HERE.

Fruits

Suggested serving size is two cups of fruit a day. Whole fruits have heart healthy fiber, they're low in fat, packed with good antioxidants and they're naturally sweet.

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Dried fruit is too densely packed with sugar and calories. One-quarter cup of raisins has 21 grams of sugar while half a cup of grapes has only 12. Fresh or frozen whole fruit with no sugar added.

Fruit juices are high in calories and sugar content. Early research seems to indicate our bodies don't register the calories from juice as readily as we do with whole foods, so we tend to drink too much. Fresh or frozen whole fruit with no sugar added.

Canned fruit in syrup. Canned fruit in water with no sugar added.

Fruit

Serving Size

Calories


Apple 1 medium 95
Apricots 5 84
Banana 1 medium 105
Blackberries 1.5 cups 93
Blueberries 1 cup 83
Cantaloupe ½ melon 94
Cherries 18 93
Figs 3 small 89
Grapefruit 1 large 53
Grapes 25 grapes 85
Honeydew Melon ¼ melon 90
Kiwi 2 medium 93
Mandarin Oranges 2 medium 93
Mango 1 cup sliced 107
Nectarine 1 medium 62
Orange 1 medium 62
Papaya 1.5 cup cubes 82
Peach 2 medium 76
Pear 1 medium 96
Pineapple 1 cup chunks 83
Plums 3 91
Raspberries 1.5 cups 96
Strawberries 1.5 cups sliced 80
Tangerine 2 medium 93
Watermelon 2 cups diced 91

 

Vegetables

Suggested serving size is two and a half cups of vegetables a day. Vegetables have lots of healthy fiber; they're low in fat and packed with vitamins and beneficial antioxidants. They'll fill you up without taking a lot of calories.

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Fried or breaded vegetables that are coated with unhealthy fats. Vegetables raw, steamed, broiled or baked.

Vegetables served with regular cream, cheese, butter sauces or dressings. Vegetables with low fat or fat-free creams, cheeses and dressings. Fat-free cream cheese on some celery, low-fat cheese on an apple or fat-free dressing to dip some broccoli in is delicious.

Deep fried vegetables like French fries or potato chips have little redeeming value. Baked French fries or potato chips are just as good tasting with a quarter of the unhealthy fats. When baked potatoes are made into a cold potato salad, the chilling step forms a type of resistant starch that actually helps burn fat.

Vegetables

Serving Size

Calories


Corn ½ cup kernels 77
Corn on the Cob 1 ear 59
Green Beans ½ cup 18
Mushrooms 5 large 25
Onions ¼ cup, sliced 12
Peas, Green 2 cups 82
Peppers, Green Bell 1 cup, sliced 18
Plantains ½ cup sliced 90
Potato, Baked ½ cup 57
Radish ½ cup 9
Sauerkraut 1 cup 27
Spinach 4 cups 28
Squash 1 ½ cups chopped 30
Sweet Potato, Baked ½ cup 90
Tomato 1 medium 22
Turnip ½ cup 17
Veggies, Mixed 1 cup 80
Water Chestnuts 4 nuts 35
Yam, Baked ½ cup 90
Zucchini 1 ½ cups chopped 30

Grains

Suggested serving size is 6 ounces of grains with 3 of them being whole grains. The fiber in whole grains lower the risk of heart attack, boosts the good bacteria in your digestive system and helps prevent obesity. The key word to look for is "whole" as in "whole wheat" or "whole grains."

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Biscuits, croissants, white breads and white bread rolls. Whole wheat breads, pita bread and whole-wheat rolls have healthy fiber.

Cereals with more than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Cereals with 5 grams of sugar or less per serving and 3 grams or more of fiber.

Donuts, pastries and scones. Whole-wheat English muffins and small whole grain bagels or half a regular sized whole grain bagel are lower in fat and higher in fiber.

Traditional crackers are higher in salt and many have trans fats. Whole-wheat crackers with reduced sodium and no trans fats.

Granola is packed with calories, fat and sugar. Low-fat and low-sugar granola cereals with 5 grams of sugar or less per serving and 3 grams or more of fiber.

Oatmeal instant packets. Oatmeal instant packets with no sugar or regular unsweetened oatmeal.

Pancakes with traditional syrup. Whole wheat pancakes with sugar free syrup.

Pasta that's white and no fiber. Whole-wheat pasta with fiber.

Popcorn buttered. Unbuttered popcorn with spices added.

Potato chips fried. Potato chips baked or pretzels with reduced salt.

Rice white or fried. Brown rice that's been boiled, microwaved or steamed.

Tortillas fried. Soft tortillas made from corn or whole wheat. For lower sodium, choose corn tortillas.

Waffles with traditional syrup. Waffles with added fiber and sugar free syrup.

White flour. Wheat flour.

Grains

Serving Size

Calories


Bagel ½ whole wheat bagel 77
Bread (Whole Wheat) 1 slice 100
Cereal (Bran Flakes) ¾ cup 96
Cereal (Shredded Wheat) 2 biscuits 128
English Muffin (Whole Wheat) 1 muffin 130
Granola (Low-Fat) ½ cup 190
Grits ¾ cup 107
Hamburger Bun (Whole Wheat) 1 bun 120
Hot Dog Buns (Whole Wheat) 1 bun 90
Oatmeal Unsweetened 1 cup 147
Pancake (Whole Wheat) 4" Dia 1 pancake 92
Pasta (Whole Wheat) 1 cup 174
Pita Bread Whole Wheat 1 pita 6-1/2 dia 170
Popcorn (Air Popped) 3 cups 93
Potato Chips, Baked 11 crisps 110
Pretzels, Reduced Sodium 10 twists (2.1 oz.) 228
Rice, Brown 1 cup cooked 216
Roll (Whole Wheat) 1 roll 170
Tortilla (Corn) 3 shells (1.1 oz.) 150
Tortilla (Whole Wheat) 1 tortilla (1.2 oz.) 120
Waffle (Whole Wheat) 2 waffles (2.5 oz) 140

Protein

Suggested serving size is 5.5 ounces and these include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dry beans, peas, nuts and/or seeds. Ideally you should pick from a variety of these each week. Vegans and vegetarians should pay special attention to this group so they make sure to get enough.

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MEAT

Beef 93% lean or lower, ground. 94% lean or greater ground beef, chicken or turkey.

Beef porterhouse, skirt steak (outside) or rib eye. Beef round or chuck are the leanest options. Cuts you should choose with caution include top sirloin, tri-tip, strip, T-bone, tenderloin, flank and skirt steak (inside).

Crabs, clams or shellfish in butter and cream sauces. Crabs, clams or shellfish steamed or broiled.

Fish with traditional breading or fish cakes fried in oil. Fish with whole wheat breading and baked.

Fish canned in oil. Fish fresh, frozen or canned in water. When choosing canned, get lower sodium if possible.

Hot dogs or sausage. Fat free hot dogs, turkey dogs and chicken dogs.

Lunchmeats higher in fat and sodium including bologna, pepperoni, salami or liverwurst. Lean lunchmeats including fat free bologna, chicken, ham and turkey.

Pork spare ribs and bacon. Pork that's lean including tenderloin, loin chop and turkey bacon.

Shrimp breaded or fried with cream or sugar based sauce. Shrimp steamed with low-fat cocktail sauce.

EGGS

Whole Eggs. Egg Whites.

Eggs that are fried in butter. Eggs that are boiled, baked or fried in small amount of fat free spray.

BEANS, PEAS, NUTS & SEEDS

Fried or refried beans and peas. Baked beans and peas or fat free refried beans.

Nuts roasted in oil and salted. Nuts raw, baked and unsalted.

Peanut butter, regular. Lower fat peanut butter or natural peanut butter with oil poured off.

Seeds roasted in oil and salted. Seeds raw, baked and unsalted.

Protein

Serving Size

Calories


Beans, Baked ½ cup 140
Beef, Ground 95% Lean 4 oz. 193
Beef Chuck, Braised 3 oz. 180
Bologna Lunch Meat, 98% Fat Free 2 slices (1 oz) 25
Chicken Breast, Boneless, Skinless Skinless 4 oz. 124
Clam, Steamed 3 oz. 126
Crab, Steamed 4 oz. 110
Egg, Boiled 1 large egg 78
Egg Whites, Fried in Fat Free Spray 1 large egg 17
Fish, Salmon Baked 4 oz. 233
Fish, Tilapia Baked 4 oz. 145
Garbanzo Beans ½ cup 134
Kidney Beans ½ cup 112
Lentils ½ cup 115
Lima Beans ½ cup 108
Lobster, Steamed 4 oz. 111
Nuts, Mixed Raw ¼ cup 203
Peanut Butter, Reduced Fat 1 Tbsp. 95
Pinto Beans ¼ cup 61
Pork Tenderloin 4 oz. 185
Refried Beans, Fat Free ½ cup 100
Scallops 4 oz. 127
Shrimp 4 large (.8 oz.) 22
Sunflower Seeds, Raw ¼ cup 150
Tuna Fish, Canned in Water 4 oz. 131
Turkey Breast 4 oz. 153
Turkey Bacon 1 strip (.5 oz.) 35

Dairy

Suggested serving size is 2 to 3 cups low-fat or fat-free dairy. There are lactose-free and soy versions for the lactose intolerant and vegans.

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Buttermilk, regular. Buttermilk from 1% or non-fat milk.

Cheese that’s full fat. Cheese from 1% milk or fat free sources.

Cottage cheese, regular. Cottage cheese that's low fat, nonfat and dry-curd with less than 2% fat.

Cream cheese, regular. Cream cheese that's fat free.

Evaporated milk. Evaporated non-fat milk.

Half & half, regular. Half & half, fat free.

Ice cream, regular. Sorbet, sherbet, low-fat or fat free ice gram.

Ricotta cheese, regular. Ricotta cheese, low fat or fat free.

Sour cream, regular. Sour cream, fat free.

Whole milk and 2% milk. 1%, skim milk and low fat soy milk.

Yogurt with whole milk. Greek yogurt with low-fat or non-fat milk.

Dairy

Serving Size

Calories


Buttermilk, Fat Free 1 cup 90
Cheddar Cheese, Fat Free 2 slices 62
Cottage Cheese, Fat Free 4 oz. 81
Cream Cheese, Fat Free 3.5 oz. 96
Evaporated Non-fat Milk ¼ can (3 fl. oz.) 74
Greek Yogurt, Low-fat 1 cup 160
Half & Half, Fat Free ¼ cup 38
Milk, Fat Free 1 cup 91
Ricotta Cheese, Fat Free ¼ cup 50
Sherbet ½ cup 107
Sorbet ½ cup 100
Sour Cream, Fat Free 3.5 oz. 74
Soy Milk, Light 1 cup 80

Fats and Oils

Suggested serving size is 6 teaspoons or 24 grams of oils. Make sure to limit these because excess amounts cause coronary artery disease, diabetes, some cancers, heart disease, obesity and osteoarthritis.

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Drinks packed with sugar including regular soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit juices. Water, sugar free soda, reduced sugar fruit juices and no sugar added tea.

Butter, margarine or shortening. Canola oil, fat free sprays, olive oil or soybean oil.

Cookies, regular. Cookies with lower sugar like gingersnaps or reduced fat such as oatmeal.

Mayonnaise, regular. Mayonnaise, fat free.

Salad dressing, regular. Salad dressing, light or fat free.

Fats and Oils

Serving Size

Calories


Canola Oil 1 tsp. 40
Gingersnaps, Sugar Free 7 cookies (1.1 oz.) 130
Oatmeal Cookie, Fat Free 1 large (.6 oz.) 59
Olive Oil 1 tsp.. 39
Mayonnaise, Fat Free 1 tsp. 20
Salad Dressing, (1,000 Island) Fat Free 1 Tbsp. 21

Part 1 2

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beginning any diet or exercise program.

1/30/2011