HEALTHY VERSIONS OF YOUR FAVORITE MEALS
Changing your diet does not mean getting rid of your favorite foods. Any diet (whether you are trying to gain or lose weight) that has you completely changing the foods you eat, while eliminating some of your favorites, is setting you up for failure. Alterations to portion sizes and ingredients can transform notoriously unhealthy foods, such as ice cream, pizza, or burgers, into a healthy dinner option. This blog is intended to show you some good, bad, and everything in between, of popular foods we consume as a society. Each individual meal below can be catered toward your specific need, whether you are trying to put on muscle, lose fat, carbo-load for an event, or need an idea for your next dinner.
“The danger is not to set your goal too high and fail to reach it. It’s to set your goal too low and reach it.”
(Take a look at the change in obesity rates from 1991 to 2003 in America. Thanks to Doctor Anderson for forwarding this literature to me.)
The average American eats 46 slices (23 pounds) of pizza a year.
Examples of things to stay away from: Keep in mind the American Heart Association recommends your sodium intake to be 1500 mg per day or less.
1. Papa John’s Pizza Pan Crust Cheese Pizza (1 slice)
- 380 calories
- 15 g fat (7 g saturated fat)
- 1000 mg of sodium
2. Sbarro Stuffed Pepperoni Pizza (1 slice)
- 960 calories
- 42 g fat
- 3,200 mg sodium
3. Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust Meat Lover’s Pizza (1 slice)
- 480 calories
- 26 g fat (12 g saturated, 1 g trans)
- 1390 mg sodium
4. Uno Chicago Grill Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza (Individual pizza)
- 2,310 calories
- 162 g fat (54 g saturated fat)
- 4,920 mg sodium
1. Being influenced by America-The motto that” bigger is better” has jumbo sized many of our foods and toppings. Italy, where pizza was originated, has pizza that is based around a thin crust (usually half the amount of flour as a traditional american, thin crust) with a flavorful, low-sugar, tomato based sauce, loaded with fresh-cut veggies and “SOME” cheese.
Try to guess which pizza is from America!
2. It’s not just cheese that’s hurting you– Sausage, ham, beef, and bacon, are just a few of the most popular toppings that exist today. Many of these salt-cured meats contain more than a day’s worth of sodium and are loaded with fat and grease. Salty meats coupled with a surplus of processed cheese does not make for the healthiest combo. Add some grease with a refined, carbo-loaded crust and you will help contribute to the obesity charts listed above.
3. Portions- Restaurants such as Sbarro serve up gigantic slices that are often two slices piled into one.
- As a general rule, avoid all over sized and stuffed crusts at pizza chains. Stick to a regular or thin sized crust. Better yet, make a multi-grain or whole wheat crust. Many pizza places now carry these different options.
- As far as toppings go, stay with ham, Canadian bacon, or grilled meats, and nix the pepperoni and sausage. Load it with veggies instead.
Barbecue Chicken Thin Crust Pizza-A great example
- 1 (8-ounce) thin pizza 100% whole wheat or multi-grain pizza crust
- 1/3 cup barbecue or homemade tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
- 1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
- 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 1/4 pound)
Dominos Crunchy Thin Crust Hawaiian Pizza- decent restaurant option
- 150 calories
- 8 grams of fat
- 315 mg’s of sodium
BURGERS: Food industry consulting firm Technomic says, “Almost half of Americans, 48 percent, eat a burger once a week.”
Examples of things to stay away from
1. Hardee’s Monster Thickburger
108 g fat (43 g saturated fat)
2,770 mg sodium
230 mg cholesterol
What to choose instead
- 1 pound(s) ground bison
- 1/2 cup(s) cooked spinach, squeezed dry
- 1/2 cup(s) crumbled feta cheese, preferably sheep’s milk
- 2 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon(s) minced garlic
- 3/4 cup(s) non-fat or low-fat Greek-style plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh dill
- 4 French rolls or 4-inch pieces of baguette, preferably whole-wheat, split and toasted
- 16 slice(s) (thin) English cucumber
- 8 slice(s) vine-ripened tomato
- 4 slice(s) (thin round) red onion
- 1 Whole wheat english muffin
- Kale or lettuce
- 1 slice Provolone Cheese
- 1 sliced tomato
- 1/2 pound of lean Turkey meat with1/2 cup chopped red onions sautéed with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic-vinegar
- Calories per serving: 470; Fat: 12 grams
SALADS: People always affiliate salads as automatically being healthy. But, as depicted below, this is not the case in several circumstances.
Some examples of things to avoid:
- 1,080 calories
- 71 grams fat
- 2,650 mg sodium
- Calories: 1300
- Saturated Fat (g): 25
- Sodium (mg): 3420
- Carbohydrates (g): 57
- Calories: 1129
- Saturated Fat (g): 26
- Sodium (mg): 1975
- Carbohydrates (g): 42
- Processed Salad Dressing.. Like RANCH– A mixture of trans fat, sugar, preservatives, and artificial flavoring, make for a deadly combo. (1 serving of ranch has 140 calories, 14 g fat, and 260 mg sodium). Opt instead for vinegarettes, balsamics, light olive oils, tomato salsas, or make your own.
- Using Iceberg lettuce– Contains almost no nutritional value. Opt for darker greens like spinach, mixed greens, kale, or arugula. This is something you will actually benefit from and tastes better.
- Using Croutons– It is white/dried/processed bread.. Enough said. 1/2 cup croutons has 100 calories. If you have to use them, use 100% whole grain croutons or make your own from 100% whole grain bread or some sort of sprouted grain bread.
- Bacon bits– Despite how good they taste, most bacon bits are highly processed and made up of mostly sodium and saturated fat. Opt for a natural protein like beans, grilled meats, or nuts.
- Cheese– A good salad shouldn’t need a lot of cheese but if you like it use it sparingly and opt for a more natural cheese such as feta.
- grilled chicken tenderloins
- green beans
- balsamic vinegarette dressing
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Thanks for reading, from Norway,