Is your waistband tighter than you'd like? Have you finally decided to get down to a healthful weight and keep it there? Then it's time to swear off fad diets for good.
For decades, most nutrition professionals have told us over and over that weight depends on calories in and calories out. To achieve and maintain a healthful weight, in addition to getting plenty of exercise for fitness and to burn off excess calories, it's important to eat a wide range of foods to get a balanced assortment of nutrients.
A calorie-smart diet consists of nutrient-dense foods which supply a good number of essential nutrients compared to their calorie counts. Nutrient-dense foods include whole-grain foods; vegetables; fruits; lean meat, poultry, fish and seafood, eggs and cooked dry beans; and skim or low-fat milk foods. For balanced, diet-wise eating, si mply choose a whole-grain food, a veggie or two, a fruit, a lean protein source and a low-fat milk food for each meal. Also keep in mind that research has shown that including animal protein foods in a weight-loss diet helps to preserve lean muscle tissue while fat is lost.
Eggs are one of the highest quality protein sources and also supply varying amounts of numerous other nutrients, all for only 75 calories per Large egg. In addition to being quick and easy to prepare, nutrient-dense eggs go very well with the whole-grain foods, veggies and fruits that you need. For example, an Open-Faced Spinach Omelet Sandwich is a flavorful, well-balanced combo that needs only a serving of fruit and low-fat milk to make a hearty, healthful meal any time of day.
Open-Faced Spinach Omelet Sandwich
4 cups fresh whole baby spinach leaves or chopped large spinach leaves (about 6 oz.)
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup low-fat (1%) cottag e cheese
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, crushed
1 (8- to 9-inch) plain, tomato or herb-seasoned focaccia bread, split crosswise (about 5 oz.)
4 tomato slices
Evenly coat 10-inch omelet pan or skillet with spray. Add spinach and water. Cover. Cook over medium heat until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Pour out liquid, if necessary. In medium bowl, beat together eggs, cheese and seasoning until blended. Pour over spinach mixture. Gently stir to evenly distribute mixture in pan. Cover. Cook over medium heat until egg mixture is almost set, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, until egg mixture is completely set, about 2 to 3 minutes. With pancake turner or spatula, slide frittata from pan onto bottom half of bread. Top with tomato slices and top half of bread. To serve, cut into wedges.
Nutrition information per serving of 1/4 recipe using baby spinach and plain focaccia bread: 217 calories, 8 gm total fat, 216 mg cholesterol, 448 mg sodium, 121 mg potassium, 23 gm carbohydrate, 15 gm protein and 10% or more of the RDI for vitamins A, B12 and C, riboflavin, calcium, iron, phosphorus, dietary fiber