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Easy Ways to Boost NutritionEasy Ways to Boost Nutrition


Ways to Boost Nutrition

Swap your spreads

If you top your toast with butter, cream cheese, or jam, you are adding saturated fat and sugar without adding much nutrition. Nut and seed butters add protein and heart-healthy fat to your breakfast. Mashed avocado adds heart-healthy fat, vitamins, and minerals. Try topping your toast with these spreads for a more filling breakfast. If you still prefer to sweeten things up, add a drizzle of honey.

Serve a savory breakfast

Eating a high-sugar breakfast like cereal or a muffin can lead to hunger and more sugar cravings later in the day. Try swapping some of your breakfasts each week for a more savory option. Egg whites with chopped leafy greens, roasted sweet potatoes with black beans, or tofu scrambles with hummus are lower in sugar and higher in protein and fiber than traditional breakfast foods. Eat them alone or use them in fillings for breakfast wraps or sandwiches.

Switch from pasta to vegetables

Vegetables are becoming a popular substitute for noodles in many traditional dishes. Spiral-cut zucchini and carrots can be topped with marinara. Ribbon-cut cucumbers and carrots can be substituted in Asian noodle bowls. Thin slices of summer squash and spaghetti squash can be used in lasagnas and baked pastas. This switch slashes the calories and boosts the vitamins and minerals in your favorite recipes.

Make beans the base

Beans are full of plant-based protein and fiber and do not contain the saturated fat and cholesterol found in meat. Black beans can be made into patties or formed into balls as a substitute for burgers and meatballs. Kidney and pinto beans make a filling meat-free chili, and chickpeas create delicious Indian-inspired stews.

Thicken with nuts and vegetables

Nuts that have been soaked in water, drained, and then pureed take on a creamy texture that can be used to thicken soups and sauces. When cooked and pureed, many vegetables have a smooth and creamy consistency. Instead of using high-fat, high-calorie cream, try adding nutrient-rich pureed cauliflower, carrots, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, raw cashews, or raw walnuts.

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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