A well-stocked pantry leads to healthier diet

Published 9:37am Friday, September 6, 2013

4. Fat-free broths. Broths can be an inexpensive, satisfying addition to your diet. Beef, chicken and vegetable stock adds savory flavor when cooking pasta, creating soups or sautéing. Broths can be rich sources of minerals and amino acids.

5. Nuts. Healthful nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts and Brazil nuts supply heart healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, protein and fiber. One study found those who substitute other foods with nuts lost more weight. Nuts are also rich in arginine, an amino acid that converts to nitric oxide in the body, dilating blood vessels. This helps lower blood pressure. Nuts add crunch and flavor to rice, pastas, vegetables and salads.

6. Whole grains. Oatmeal, couscous, barley, rice and some pastas are great as side dishes, or in casseroles, soups and salads. Studies show consuming whole grains reduces risk for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. They are also rich sources of vitamins and minerals.

7. Healthful oils and vinegars. Olive and canola oils are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that may help prevent breast cancer, reduce risk of heart attack and stroke, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and relieve inflammation. These oils can add a light flavor to salads, pastas, soups and other dishes. Apple cider vinegar is rich in vitamins, minerals and pectin (a heteropolysaccaride), which may benefit those with or at risk for cancer. It also shows promise in the treatment of diabetes. Also, apple cider vinegar, when digested, becomes alkaline, which can improve digestion and overall health. Cider vinegar is great for cooking and in salad dressings.

Diet or exercise question? Email me at dwcrocker77@gmail.com. Or visit fitness4yourlife.org. David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 27 years. He served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., head strength coach for the USC-Spartanburg baseball team, S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team, and the Converse college equestrian team. He served as a water safety consultant to the United States Marine Corps., lead trainer to L. H. Fiields modeling agency, and taught four semesters at USC-Union. Crocker was also a regular guest of the Pam Stone radio show.

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