American diets and weight loss fads tend to center around subtracting food options form our personal menus. Taking away whole food groups might help you lose weight in the short term but often lack all of the health benefits that you receive by eating a well balanced diet. So why not start down the path to a healthy life style by adding good antioxidant rich cancer fighting foods instead of subtracting whole food groups form your menu.
I recently had a discussion with Registered Dietitian Michele Manarino (R.D., M.S.) about what five foods Americans should add to there diets that they might not be eating now.
Wild Caught Salmon: While it might seem obvious that salmon is packed with lean protein. They also contain omega 3 fatty acids that are very good for you . But why wild? Wild salmon has 30% fewer calories and half the fat of farmed fish. Wild salmon also has more potassium and less sodium as well.
Are you standing at the fish counter and not sure what is wild fish and what is farmed fish? A good rule of thumb is that Alaskan Salmon is wild caught and anything from the Atlantic is farm raised.
Blueberries: Blueberries have more antioxidants than any other fresh fruits or vegetables tested to date. Antioxidants strengthen your immune system by neutralizing free radicals introduced into your body. More importantly, blueberries are brain food and studies show that the abundance of antioxidants called flavonoids can slow down age related memory loss and mental decline.
Quinoa: (Keen-wa) Is a grain that is one of the most protein rich foods you can eat. It also has twice the fiber of other gains available to eat. The nutty flavored grain is packed with minerals and if you needed another reason to try it out quinoa cooks in about half the time that rice does!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: In the late 80’s and early 90’s fat was considered the enemy to the human race. So a whole range of fat free foods were created and offered. We now know that fat is not totally evil. In fact, we need a certain amount of fat to stay healthy and thin. That is where olive oil comes in. It is loaded with the “Good” fats like the omega 3 and 6. Just replace you old corn oil with this super food I bet you won’t even notice a difference in taste.
Lentils: This little legume (like a bean) packs a big protein and fiber punch. They are known for lowering cholesterol and controlling blood sugar. They can be cooked and added to many dishes or maybe you can just make a healthy dip for a snack.
You don’t have to take away food to start down the path to better health. Start by adding good food to what you already eat to make a big difference in your well being. Who knows, if you eat enough of this stuff maybe you will be too full for that second piece of cheese cake!
Can a dietitian help you achieve your health goals? Michele Manarino is a Registered Dietitian in Southern California. You can reach out to her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.