You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

breaking news

Flooding blocks lanes on Ga. 400

Ten nutrition mistakes even really healthy people make


Even when you try your best to eat well, it's difficult to know everything about nutrition. I often talk with clients who believe they are making good choices and don't realize that little oversights stand in their way of optimal health. Here's a top 10 list of common but easy-to-repair nutrition mistakes.

- You add whole flaxseeds to your breakfast

Flaxseeds are filled with omega-3 fats, fiber and lignans (antioxidants), which all benefit heart health. But whole flaxseeds may pass through the intestines undigested, which means you'll miss out on the health benefits inside the seed. Buy ground flax seeds instead, or put them in a coffee or spice grinder. 

- You blend a nutritious smoothie, but it's a calorie bomb 

It's easy to toss a combination of superfoods into a blender. Blueberries, cashew butter, chia, kale, bananas and coconut milk sound like a dreamy breakfast elixir, but these concoctions can quickly become calorie bombs. Keep smoothies in the 300-calorie range by serving smaller portions (about 8-12 ounces), using more vegetables than fruit, and by going easy on the high-calorie nuts and seeds. 

- You take your supplements with coffee

Caffeine from coffee can hinder your body's ability to absorb some of the vitamins and minerals in your supplements, including calcium, iron, B-vitamins and vitamin D. And it's not just coffee - beverages such as tea and cola contain caffeine, too. Enjoy your coffee about an hour before taking your supplements, and swallow pills with water instead.

- You use regular canned beans for your meatless meals

Beans are an amazing source of fiber and protein, but canned varieties may have close to 1,000 mg of sodium per cup - that's two-thirds of what you need in an entire day! Look for cans that say "no-salt-added" or "low-sodium." If you can't find them, drain and rinse your canned beans, which will eliminate about 40 percent of the sodium. 

- To cut back on sugar, you cut out fruit

The top source of sugar in the American diet is sweetened beverages, not fruit. Sugary soft drinks have no beneficial nutrients, while fruit has fiber, vitamins and protective antioxidants. Plus, we don't tend to overeat fruit, but do tend to drink too much soda. Consider how much easier it is to down a 20-ounce soda, as opposed to eating six bananas at one time. Both pack 16 teaspoons of sugar. Choose fruit and skip the soda.

- You trust claims like 'low-fat' and 'sugar-free' 

For many years, we've relied on label claims that tell us what our food doesn't contain - fat, sugar, gluten.It's more important to look at what the food does contain. Ultra-processed foods may be fat-free or sugar-free, but also loaded with preservatives or refined ingredients. Read ingredient lists and choose foods that are as close to nature as possible.

- You drink almond milk for calcium but don't shake the carton first

Milk alternatives made from soy, almonds, cashews, rice, etc. are often fortified with calcium and vitamin D. But the added nutrients don't stay in the liquid very well, and tend to sink to the bottom of the container. If you drink without shaking first, you can't reap the benefits of the added vitamins and minerals. Shake well before serving. 

- You skip the dressing on salad

Vegetables contain fat-soluble vitamins A, E and K, and a host of antioxidants that require fat to be absorbed. If you skip the oil and vinegar, you miss out on key nutrients from the salad. Serve your greens with oil-based dressing, nuts, seeds or avocado to dramatically boost your body's ability to soak up the veggies' beneficial nutrients. 

- You miss out on probiotics by buying the wrong type of yogurt

Yogurt is fermented milk, and fermented foods contain probiotics. So, logic would dictate that all yogurts are probiotic-rich, but unfortunately that's not the case. If yogurt has been heated or pasteurized, probiotics are destroyed and may not be added back in. Look for the words "live active cultures," or check ingredient lists for names of specific probiotics (lactobacillus acidophilus, L bulgaricus, etc.) to ensure you're getting these beneficial bacteria, which aid digestion and support the immune system. 

- You refuel with sports drinks

Sports drinks are meant to replace fluid and electrolytes that are lost when you sweat excessively, and are suitable after endurance sports like a soccer game or marathon. But the extra sugar and salt in sports drinks are not needed for casual exercise with minimal perspiration. After a stroll, hydrating with water is the best choice.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Cooking and Recipes

An old favorite returns to the rotation with a leaner look
An old favorite returns to the rotation with a leaner look

Curried Singapore Noodles was my standard order at a restaurant in Washington's Chinatown - until it wasn't. That kitchen's particular proportions of curried sauce, rice noodles, vegetables, egg and shrimp was the only way I wanted the dish to taste. Once that place closed and a few other Chinese restaurants failed to live up to the standard, I struck...
In Copenhagen, new Nordic meets traditional Italian
In Copenhagen, new Nordic meets traditional Italian

The trendsetting modern style of Scandinavian cooking known as New Nordic has guided the Danish capital’s emergence as one of the world’s great food cities. The manifesto for this cooking was signed by 12 of the region’s most influential chefs in 2004. Among other things, it affirmed the importance of traditional Nordic recipes and...
This robust salad is fit for a full meal
This robust salad is fit for a full meal

A Big Salad is a modern solution to the home cook’s eternal question: How can an entire tasty, nourishing meal be packed into one bowl? Now that so much fresh produce is available year-round, salads can serve as a worthy dinner option, one that satisfies many tastes. Combine fresh, frilly greens, raw and cooked vegetables, beans, grains, nuts...
Cognac on the rocks?
Cognac on the rocks?

If you've ever ordered a cognac at a trendy restaurant, you've no doubt witnessed the bartender making a show of heating a snifter with hot water before filling it. It's a dirty little secret (at least it was) that the renowned cognac house of Hennessy prefers to serve Hennessy X.O on the rocks. I learned of this firsthand a number of years ago when...
Diabetes quick fix: pan fried ropa vieja (flank steak in tomato sauce)
Diabetes quick fix: pan fried ropa vieja (flank steak in tomato sauce)

“Old cloths” is the literal translation of ropa vieja. The Cuban dish is made with leftover meat or flank steak that has been simmered several hours until it falls apart into strings. Any shredded meat boiled or fried can be used for this dish. As long as it is cooked with a traditional sauce of onions, garlic, green peppers and tomatoes...
More Stories