Tricounty News

Make eating more appealing

Many people are trying to adopt a healthier approach to eating.  Is it any wonder? Research shows that six out of every 10 Americans are overweight and nearly one in three is obese. When it comes to a healthy diet, sticking to a plan can be difficult for many reasons. Maybe you are not sure what to do, you lack the time or energy or you think healthy foods taste bad. Often the image of healthy food is dull and the eating experience a chore. One of the most important things you can do to stick to your commitment to a healthy diet plan is to make healthy eating more appealing. Here are some ways to help make that happen: • Enjoy your foods. Sit down when you eat and eat with family and friends. Food tastes better with company and conversation. If you live alone, invite a friend over for dinner, have a potluck meal or a tasting party. Try out new recipes and invite someone over to try it out. And remember to sit down during the meal rather than standing at the counter while you eat or eating in front of the television. • Eat with your eyes. Not literally, of course, but if the food doesn't look good, if it's not attractive, we probably won't give it a chance. Choose different foods from the color palette, different shapes and different textures. • Dress up your table. Break out the good china, use the table cloth or placemats you've been storing for years, try candles or flowers as a centerpiece. The change can go a long way toward improving the eating experience. • Experiment with herbs and spices to increase flavor without calories and fat. Add fresh or dried dill, basil or oregano to steamed vegetables, or cinnamon to fruit dips. Try an herb vinegar dressing on your salad or herbs on your baked potato. • Experiment with fruits and vegetables you haven't tried before. Try mango, jicama, Chinese cabbage, or turnip greens. Prepackaged mixed salad greens or frozen stir-fry vegetables can be a time saver and can also help to increase your vegetable intake. • Try different ethnic cuisines such as Chinese, Mexican, Greek or Indian. Select from the low fat, high fiber choices and enjoy. Making eating more appealing can improve your commitment to better lifestyle.