COLUMN: 25 ways to eat better in the New Year

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By Theresa Howard

 The LaRue County Extension Office offers 25 tips to eat better in the New Year:

• To help with portion control, use the smallest plate that will hold your food.

• At mealtime, serve from the stove instead of putting a serving bowl on the table.

• Make double vegetables and serve them first, to take the focus off meat.

• Switch to whole wheat pasta.

• Eat vegetarian one night a week.

• Cut back on butter or margarine – newer whole grain breads are tasty on their own.

• Try substituting whole wheat or oat flour for up to half the flour in pancakes, muffins or other baking.

• Switch from whole milk to low-fat or skim milk.

• Skip the cream and sugar in your coffee and tea.

• Don’t put a salt shaker on the table.

• Drain and rinse canned beans to get rid of up to 43 percent of the salt they contain.

• Eat fish twice a week – once a week is a good start.

• Cook with vegetable oil instead of butter.

• Use nonstick pans to cut down on fat in cooking.

• Buy leaner cuts of meat and remove the skin from poultry.

• Use brown rice instead of white.

• Dress salads lightly. When eating out, ask for dressing on the side so you can control how much you use.

• For more vitamins, choose darker-green lettuce rather than iceberg lettuce.

• Add extra vegetables to soups, stews, casseroles and pasta dishes.

• To cut back on salt and sugar, choose no-salt-added canned vegetables and fruits canned in 100 percent juice.

• Eat whole or cut up fruit instead of drinking juice.

• Add berries to your breakfast cereal.

• Eat breakfast every day.

• To cut down on “mindless eating,” don’t eat in front of the TV.

• Eat more slowly, to give your body a chance to feel “full.”

For more motivation, join our 2013 Lighten Up LaRue County – Biggest Loser program. This will be 5-6 p.m. on Mondays from Feb. 4 to April 8 at the LaRue County Board of Education gym. Call 358-3401 for more information.