Triple S your way to better eating
Are we eating as good as we should? About three-fourths of Americans aren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables. And, while over half of the U.S. population meets or exceeds total grain recommendations, most of the grains we’re eating are refined, which aren’t as beneficial as whole grains. Refined grains are milled, which is a process that removes dietary fiber, iron and many B vitamins, and examples include white bread and white rice.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we need to focus on a series of eating patterns that promote our overall health.
Here’s an idea to help you make better food choices. Try the triple S method — sneak it in, serve it or snack on it.
Include more vegetables in your diet.
- Sneak it in: when making a one-pot meal, such as a casserole, stew, soup or stir fry, increase the amount of vegetables in the recipe. For example, when making chili, add in extra vegetables like red and green bell peppers.
- Serve it on the side: add a green salad or a vegetable as a side dish.
- Snack on it: serve vegetables with a dip, such as hummus or salsa, for a snack.
Add fruit to your routine.
- Sneak it in: smoothies are a great way to add fruit to your diet.
- Serve it on the side: add a serving of fruit as dessert after meals.
- Snack on it: for a quick and easy snack, cut up fresh fruit for snacks or buy pre-cut Publix fruit salad.
Get your fill of whole grains.
- Sneak it in: bake some whole-grain goodness. Experiment by substituting whole wheat, spelt or oat flour for half of the flour in your favorite baked goods, such as pancakes, waffles, muffins and breads.
- Serve it on the side: try ancient grains including farro and quinoa instead of white rice.
- Snack on it: snack on ready-to-eat whole-grain cereals, such as toasted oat cereal. Try 100 percent whole-grain snack crackers. Popcorn, a whole grain, can be a great snack if made with little or no added salt and butter.
Add dairy to the mix.
- Sneak it in: use fat-free or low-fat yogurt as a replacement for sour cream or mayonnaise in recipes.
- Serve it on the side: drink fat-free or low-fat milk with meals.
- Snack on it: top plain fat-free or low-fat Greek yogurt with fresh fruit or granola for a delicious snack.
Sources: health.gov, choosemyplate.gov