A New Year of Food: Buy, Sell, and Hold
Last Updated: Jan 18, 2013
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Achieving your financial goals and reaching your wellness goals may not be as different as you think. Knowing what to buy, sell and hold is crucial when it comes to both your finances and your food choices. “If you are a wise investor, you would keep the high risk portion of your portfolio to a minimum; and it's the same story with your food choices. The consequences of those choices could not be more important,” says Dr. Joseph Colella, Pittsburgh-based bariatric surgeon and weight-loss specialist.
BUY: LEAN PROTEIN
If you would like stable and reliable returns on your investments in your waistline, then opt for foods loaded with lean protein, says Colella. “The results of your efforts will increase your lean body mass, improve your metabolism, and suppress your appetite better,” he says. Colella recommends increasing daily protein intake with a protein shake that has a minimum of 20 grams of protein and less than 5 grams of sugar. “Serve it chilled for a better taste,” he says.
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BUY: CANOLA OIL
When cooking in the new year, change up your meal plan by using canola, grapeseed and olive oil, says Carolyn Gundell, Connecticut-based nutritionist at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut. “Canola oil helps to reduce cellular oxidative stress in our bodies and supports good reproductive hormone health,” she says.
Add some color and flavor to your food this year with a variety of lentils, also known as edible beans. Lentils are packed with folate, protein and fiber, which helps our bodies metabolize sugar, says Gundell. And they are relatively inexpensive. “Beans in general are good for you, but avoid canned beans,” suggests Gundell. “Canned beans can have up to 50 percent less folate.”
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HOLD: CHICKEN STOCK
When preparing soups and sauces, take a moderate approach with chicken stock this year. “As long as it is a low-sodium version, chicken stock is a great way to add flavor to foods without adding fat and calories,” says Gundell. Use it in place of water sparingly when cooking, but just don’t overdo it with high-sodium brands.
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HOLD: COMPLEX CARBS
People tend to use the term "moderation" as an excuse to dabble in higher sugar foods, says Colella, but be proactive by holding onto minimal servings of snacks with complex carbs, such as apples and grapes. “Keep things in perspective and be aware that when eating higher sugar foods you may notice an increase in your appetite -- don’t give in when it happens,” says Colella.
For a quick snack and a moderate boost to your daily nutrition, grab a handful of nuts. “Nuts are packed with all sorts of nutrients linked with heart health: fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats,” says Sharon Palmer, California-based dietitian and author of “The Plant-Powered Diet.” Avoid eating the whole bag, though. “Nuts are concentrated in calories, so you should have only one handful a day,” she says.
SELL: WHITE FLOUR
A common ingredient in baking cookies, cakes, and other treats is white flour. It’s time to sell this marker of low-quality foods and seek a healthier alternative, says Palmer. “When you snack on refined white flour in cookies, crackers, donuts and bagels, your blood glucose responds more quickly to this refined source of carbohydrates,” she says. “It’s better to switch to whole grains.”
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SELL: NATURAL SUGARS
The high-risk commodities in your kitchen are the intensely sugar-laden foods and drinks, says Colella. Cakes, cookies and ice cream are the most common, but don’t forget to boot orange juice and other fruit juices containing high amounts of natural sugar. “They increase your blood sugar and jack up your appetite for more and more sugar, leading you into a vicious cycle of an out-of-control appetite,” says Colella.
Cook up something healthier by tossing out margarine this year. Margarine is highly processed and contains ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid that contributes to clogs arteries and may even irritate your skin, says Elizabeth Prebish, nutritionist for OrganicLife, a Chicago-based school lunch program. Even if the product claims to have 0 trans fat, Prebish says it likely includes at least .49 grams or less and every little bit counts. Instead, opt for light butter spreads or organic unsalted butter on your toast each morning.
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