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Southlake Style

Spring Clean Your Diet

Mar 23, 2012 11:59AM ● By tina

This year as you’re dusting off the bikes, washing the windows and sweeping out the garage, don’t neglect your kitchen. With longer days and nicer weather, spring is the perfect time to overhaul the contents of your cabinets, fridge and freezer. Kelly Cunningham, M.D., a family physician on the medical staff at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine offers these tips to help you make the most of your spring-clean sweep.

Think outside the box. No need to give up comfort foods such as mac and cheese or baked ziti. Instead, boost their nutritional value by using whole-wheat pasta and blending in vegetables such as frozen peas or chopped broccoli. Make your other sides and casseroles healthier with fiber-rich brown rice.

Have a can-do attitude. Canned kidney beans, chickpeas and black beans amp up the fiber content of salads and chili while skimping on calories. Teamed with salsa and lower-fat cheese, they’re a staple for quesadillas and burritos. Just remember to rinse the beans thoroughly to wash away as much sodium as possible.

Subtract from your add-ons. Take stock of your condiments and look for lower-fat versions of mayonnaise and salad dressings. Mustards add plenty of flavor to sandwiches and pasta salads without adding fat.

Think of skinny cows. Exchange your favorite full-fat dairy foods for low- or no-fat versions of milk, sour cream, cream cheese, yogurt and cheese.

Sneak nutrition into your snacks. Trade chips and cookies for carrots with hummus or whole-wheat crackers with low-fat cheese, such as gouda and mozzerella. Steamed edamame, air-popped popcorn and almonds—in moderation—also make healthy snacks.

Meet healthier meats. Instead of processed lunch meat, which tops the chart in sodium and preservatives, cook a turkey breast on Sunday night, slice it thinly and use it for sandwiches and salads during the week. Single-serve packets of tuna are also a quick, convenient lunch option.

Get hooked on fish and shrimp. A great source of protein and great on the grill, white fish such as tilapia, coldwater fish such as salmon and skewers of shrimp make for a quick, healthy main dish in place of typical burger and brats fare.

Go tropical. Stock up on fresh or frozen sliced mangos, blueberries, strawberries and peaches. They’re excellent building blocks for vitamin-filled smoothies when blended with low-fat yogurt and a splash of fruit juice.

For information about healthy nutrition services or to learn more about services offered at Baylor Grapevine, please call 1.800.4BAYLOR or visit Baylor Health Grapevine.

Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine is a full-service, fully-accredited not-for-profit hospital serving residents in more than 20 cities throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth region. Focused on being the best place to give and receive quality, safe and compassionate care, Baylor Grapevine works to lead the transformation of health care. The 276-bed hospital offers advanced medical services for cardiovascular services, women’s services, oncology, neurology, spine care, orthopaedics, diagnostic imaging, neonatal intensive care, intensive and emergency care.

About Baylor Health Care System

Baylor Health Care System is a not-for-profit, faith-based supporting organization providing services to a network of acute care hospitals and related health care entities that provide patient care, medical education, research and community service. Baylor recorded more than 2.8 million patient encounters, $4 billion in total operating revenue, $5.2 billion in total assets and $494 million in community benefit in fiscal year 2010. Baylor’s network of more than 300 access points includes 27 owned/operated/ ventured/affiliated hospitals; joint ventured ambulatory surgical centers; satellite outpatient locations; senior centers and more than 150 HealthTexas Provider Network physician clinics.

Physicians are members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Health Care System’s subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and are neither employees nor agents of those medical centers, Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine or Baylor Health Care System.