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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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Upping Your Nutrition Game

A bowl of oatmeal with raisins and walnuts. Recently I did a TV segment with Charles Divins on the Daily Buzz. It was a blast! We discussed how to making a few simple switches to your usual food choices would help you up your nutrition game. Shaving only 100 calories a day from your diet equates to 10 pounds lost a year. Here are a few easy swaps that will help you “Up Your Nutrition Game”.  

Creamy Dressing vs. Balsamic Vinegar and Lemon Juice

Salads are meant to be healthy, but not when topped with loads of creamy dressing. Creamy dressings can add 160 calories or more in only two tablespoons. The truth is, many people eat more than two tablespoons on a salad. Instead of drowning your greens in fat, use balsamic vinegar and lemon juice for a zesty zing that sends your salad up a notch in flavor, but not on your belt loop.

Brownie vs. Dark Chocolate

It’s no secret; I’m a chocolate person. It’s fine to have a brownie every now and again, but be careful about portion sizes. An average brownie can pack on 400 calories, and that’s if you only eat one! Instead of satisfying that sweet tooth with a brownie, eat dark chocolate! Not only will you be getting amped with antioxidants, you’ll save on calories and slice sugar too, as a piece of dark chocolate is 50 about calories. Look for 70% cacao dark chocolate or higher for the most nutritional benefits.

Oatmeal vs. Granola

Granola is often loaded with sugar and calories. It’s very dense, so it can pack a lot of calories into a very small bite, if you are trying to gain weight, granola should be your friend. A comforting bowl of oatmeal is more satisfying and can be lower in calories if you do it right.  Add 1/4 cup of California Raisins and you’ll get a full serving a fat-free, cholesterol-free fruit to help meet USDA guidelines to fill have your plate with fruits and veggies.  Raisins have one ingredient on the label:  Raisins. No added sugar, just natural, dried-in-the-sun goodness.   

Energy Drink vs. Water

Did you know you might be drinking 58 grams of sugar in one energy drink? That kind of energy is bound to leave you buzzed and then stooped into a sugar coma. Think again about fueling your body -- even mild dehydration can drain your energy. Instead of downing an energy drink, rehydrate with water to give yourself a natural energy boost.

Your game has just been upped. Stay tuned for more sound bites on how to “Up Your Nutrition Game.”  

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Tags: Nutrition

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About the Author


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