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Eat This Instead of That

Eating for good health is about making smart choices consistently. The 'New American Diet' can help

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    En español |Changing your diet to improve health does not have to be overwhelming. Take small steps by choosing wisely as you prepare meals and select snacks. Here are some ideas.

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    Blueberries have 80 calories per cup and no fat. They boost brain power and fight inflammation. A typical cereal bar has 130 calories and little nutritional value.

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    Whole wheat or whole grain in bread helps maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The refined flour in white bread provides fewer benefits.

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    Nuts lower the odds of heart attacks and reduce "bad" cholesterol. They are relatively high in calories, so eat sparingly.

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    Roasted or grilled chicken is a better choice than fried or breaded chicken because it is lower in calories and fat.

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    Dark chocolate has been shown to fight high blood pressure and may help remove plaque (fatty deposits) from arteries. It has a low glycemic index, meaning it is absorbed into the bloodstream slowly, curbing appetite and reducing hunger.

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    Figs contain potassium and other minerals and are good antioxidants; they may help protect from cancer, diabetes and some infections. Natural sugar makes them taste as sweet as a cookie.

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    Olive oil has monounsaturated fat, which is thought to lower "bad" cholesterol and to reduce the risk of heart disease.

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    Whole wheat pasta, like whole wheat bread, has soluble fiber, which may help lower cholesterol (it also may make you feel full longer. )

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    Sweet potatoes are a better nutritional choice than white potatoes because they have a lower glycemic index, which means the effect on blood sugar is slower. They also contain beta-carotene and Vitamin A.

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    Brown rice contains more fiber and protein than white rice, and has less impact on your blood sugar.

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    Fish contains omega-3 fat, which studies show helps prevent high blood pressure, heart attacks and cancer. Choose whole fish fillets with firm, shiny flesh.

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