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AHA - Salty Six

The American Heart Association put out this great infographic warning about the top six saltiest foods to avoid. How many items on this list do you eat? If you’re like me, you may be thinking, “Someone pass me a bowl of fruit!”

Streamline your eating habits to meet your weight loss goals.

Dieting isn’t about being vain or trying to get a better body. Dieting is about committing to a healthier way of eating and a healthier body. A weight loss goal of even 5-10% of your total body weight can improve your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, according to the CDC. Managing your weight lowers your risk of diabetes, heart disease and other serious health problems.

Instead of trying a fad diet, use a mixture of cutting down on calories and exercising. Here are five ways to cut calories from your diet:

Ditch fruit juices. Fruit juices are high in sugar and calories. Drink them in moderation or not at all. If you crave the taste of fruit, try lemon in your water.

Don’t sweeten your coffee with sugar. Avoid fancy coffee drinks and stick to black coffee with skim milk and a zero calorie sweetener. You'll save money, too.

Cut out soda. You’ll be surprised at how many calories you cut simply by avoiding soda. Diet soda is okay in a pinch, but you’re best off cutting soda out of your diet completely.

Change the way you cook. If you frequently cook with butter and oils, switch to grilling and broiling your proteins and vegetables. Season with spices and herbs instead of salt and butter.

Avoid eating out. Save restaurant eating for special occasions. It’s much easier to adhere to a healthy diet when you’re shopping for and preparing your own food. Restaurant meals are often high calorie and involve cooking in heavy creams and butters that add major calories to your meal.

North Hills Hospital wants to be part of your healthy weight loss goals. For more information on nutrition and healthy eating, talk with your doctor about your dietary needs. Call us at 1-855-5NHILLS for a physician referral.

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Avoiding Those Holiday Pounds

Learn how to continue losing weight during the holidays.


The holidays are a time of joy and celebration. That doesn’t mean you have to postpone your diet or your healthy weight loss habits. Learn how to make smart substitutions that don’t dampen the fun of eating at holiday gatherings.

Serve low fat desserts. Pumpkin pie is a holiday favorite, but it can be fattening and high in sugar. Try serving fresh fruit with a low-fat dip and angel food cake with fresh berries. Look for a pumpkin flavored low-fat frozen yogurt or bake your own spiced cookies using options like wheat flour and applesauce instead of white flour and oil.

Be smart about meat. Trim holiday meats well. When serving ham, turkey or other meats at a holiday gathering, choose cuts that are lean and not cooked in butter. As you make your own plate, remember to serve yourself moderate portions and choose white cuts of meat when you can.

Use healthy ingredients. As you cook vegetables, side dishes and your Thanksgiving turkey, use healthy ingredients such as low-sodium broth and low-fat cheeses. Bake or broil vegetables and serve a wide variety of vegetable options at your table. Avoid side dishes that rely heavily on butter and sugar. Instead, flavor dishes with spices and flavor extracts.

Avoid high calorie drinks. Choose water or soda water with a dash of juice instead of drinking cider, alcohol or egg nog. Try sweetening tea and coffee with skim milk and a sugar alternative. Empty calories in drinks can derail your healthy eating habits.

North Hills Hospital wants you to have a healthy, safe and happy holiday season. For more information on nutrition and healthy eating, talk with your doctor about your dietary needs. Call us at 1-855-5NHILLS for a physician referral.

Related Posts:
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Avoiding Those Holiday Pounds

It’s that time of year. Every time you turn around, there’s another Christmas party filled with tempting holiday snacks that go right to your waistline. Here are some tips to avoid putting on the pounds this month:

  • Squeeze in exercise whenever possible.
  • Leave the car at home and walk to holiday light displays (but be sure to wear reflective clothing!).
  • If you like to jog, look for an upcoming race to train for. The Cowtown races are right around the corner (February 27, 2009 – click here for race events). North Hills Hospital is an official hospital for The Cowtown Marathon races, which include¬†a family 5K and adult 10K.
  • If your party is really hopping, get out on the dance floor. Dancing is great exercise.
  • Do 10-minute workouts several times a day. Research shows three 10-minute workouts are as effective as one 30-minute session.
  • On shopping trips, take a few extra laps around the mall. Or, you can also park in the back row (which you’ll probably have to do anyway).
  • Eat something healthy before going to a party. If you’re not starving, you can sample and savor buffet offerings without stuffing yourself.
  • It’s normal to crave carbs during times of stress. Grab a whole grain roll instead of cookies or pecan pie.
  • Many people crave salty, crunchy foods when stressed. Crunch away, but try celery sticks and carrots. Go easy on the dips and dressing.

And most importantly, try to get some sleep. Doing so, will reduce stress, and make your holidays a whole lot happier.

For more tips, visit our website.