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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Go Nuts with Gifts This Year


I’m kind of notorious for giving food gifts, buy hey, they’re perfect! Food is practical and enjoyable. And since healthy foods act like preventative medicine, giving nutritious items to friends and family members is a great way to show how much you care. Plus, you can do your holiday shopping at the same time as your grocery shopping! My favorites include:

-Fresh or dried fruit, including anything from pears to pomegranates – they’re beautiful, fragrant and amazing for you. Did you know that eating at least 5 servings of produce each day can cut your cancer risk by 30%? And you can always add healthy kitchen gadgets like peelers, slicers, paring knives, cutting boards, etc.

-Nuts or seeds – they’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. And studies show that they can help control blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and even control weight – that’s because they’re so satisfying people tend to eat less after enjoying a small handful of nuts.

-Tea – it’s perfect hot or cold, it has zero calories, and tea is rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals (those body guards that protect cells from aging and disease). And you can buy them in lots of decadent flavors like sugar plum, vanilla, or mango.

-And last but not least chocolate. Who would have thought chocolate would become a leading health food but it has! Studies have found that dark chocolate contains substances that help relax blood vessels, lowering blood pressure, and it has also been linked to boosting HDL, the “good” cholesterol.

You can also make specialty or theme baskets, like a breakfast basket filled with oatmeal, spices, walnuts, and dried fruit, a snack basket loaded with popcorn, whole grain crackers, and nuts, or one filled just with healthy marinades, salsas, and condiments.

P.S. This is a photo I took of a cracked walnut – can you see the heart?
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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