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Janelle L'Heureux, a dietitian at AIDS Project Los Angeles, names her top 10 tips for better nutrition.
1. Plan for tomorrow's nutrition today by making meal and snack plans in advance.
2. Fuel your body throughout the day and eat light at night. Have a late-afternoon snack to prevent overeating at dinnertime.
3. Drink water throughout the day: two liters (about 8 1/2 cups) or more.
4. Pack healthy snacks when leaving the house; think fruit and a handful of nuts, or whole wheat crackers and a small bag of veggies.
5. Eat lean protein with every meal, about one to four ounces. Choose from fish, skinless poultry, tofu, beans, and red meat with no visible fat or that's 93% lean. Prepare by steaming, baking, broiling or
grilling. In other words, no frying!
6. Dairy is good. Consume three servings a day of pasteurized, low-fat dairy or soy products. Go for yogurt that has live active cultures if you have lactose intolerance. Try to find a product without high-fructose corn syrup.
7. Eat your vegetables! Enough to cover half of your plate at lunch and dinner.
8. Choose whole grains and complex carbohydrates -- about two or three servings per meal. Carbs get a bad rap, but they are a major fuel source and should be neither ignored nor overdone.
9. Seek out heart-healthy fats like those found in fish, nuts, seeds, avocado, or flax. Remember, a little goes a long way when it comes to nuts and avocado, since they have high calorie counts for a small serving size.
10. Take charge of your own nutrition. Learn to make one new recipe a month from scratch and read food labels so you know what you're eating.