Not everyone can thrive eating carrot juice, soaked cashews and non-fat yogurt alone. If you enjoy digging into a good steak and a baked potato, you can still trim down a few pounds by rounding out your diet and keeping your portions reasonable. The U.S. Department of Agriculture designed a nutritional guide called “My Food Pyramid” that provides sensible guidelines for people who eat meat. If you have high blood pressure or any family medical history of cardiac disease, it is important to monitor cholesterol levels. Bake, broil, steam or stir-fry but avoid deep frying to eliminate the trans fat. Make French fries only an occasional treat, as they are loaded with trans fat that can increase risk for cardiac disease.
Fruits and Vegetables
Eat at least two cups of vegetables and the same of fruit every day. The USDA recommends healthy adults ages 19 to 51, who do less than 30 minute of physical activity a day to eat about 7 to 8 cups of vegetables per week. The food pyramid emphasizes daily consumption of these high-fiber foods. For example, eating raw apples provides vitamin C and the pectin found in them can soften stool and help prevent irregularity. They are also high in fiber, which combats cholesterol. You could consider eating bananas as snacks or freeze them and blend in a blender to make a low-calorie dessert that provides potassium and natural fruit sugar. Eat all kinds of potatoes and add butter sparingly.
Add whole grains to your daily diet. The food pyramid recommends whole grains such as millet, quinoa, brown rice and oats. These whole grains are not processed and provide B complex vitamins and fiber. For example, consider eating oatmeal for breakfast, a whole grain sandwich for lunch, snacking on low-salt, mixed-grain rice cakes or crackers and adding half a cup of quinoa at dinner. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WA) cooks up in only 10 minutes and has six grams of protein for 160 calories.
Eat about five to six ounces of meat a day, according to the USDA. Choose lean cuts of beef and trim away most of the visible fat. Include turkey, chicken and low-mercury seafood to your diet. By removing saturated fat, which is any fat that is solid at room temperature, you reduce your risk for developing high blood pressure and heart disease. The USDA recommends eating no more than 30 percent of total daily calories from fat and of that number, no more than 10 percent of your diet from saturated fat. Fish fat is an exception; it is heart-healthy and will not clog arteries to the heart.