Spring Cleaning doesn’t just end with your closets and garage. Give your refrigerator an extreme makeover and get started on a healthy, more fit you for the summer with tips from Paulette Lambert R.D., the Nutrition Director at the California Health & Longevity Institute, at the Four Seasons Westlake Village. Paulette oversaw the Nutritional progression of the 8 participants in ABC’s new television series Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, here are her top 10 foods to trash or swap RIGHT NOW!
1. 3 Day Perishable Food Rule.
The first rule of thumb is to throw out perishable food items like meat, fish and leftovers after 3 days. Some foods like salads and pasta sauce can last up to 5 days.
2. Peel and Eat
Veggies start losing their nutrients as soon as they are exposed to air, so to keep important B and C vitamins in your vegetables use them within the first 3-7 days of peeling.
3. Bye Bye Sugary Jams and Jellies
Throw out those sugary jams and jellies! Replacing them with all natural fruit versions will mean fewer calories and less chronic diseases later on.
4. Food Swap: Peanut Butter
Did you know 70% of excess sodium comes from processed foods and hydrogenated fats? Make an easy switch like switching high sugar peanut butter for the all-natural kind for a healthier heart.
5. Salad Dressing & Mayo… swap for “Light”
Make easy switches with salad dressing and mayo too! By picking the ‘light’ versions or the olive-oil based products, you’ll get all the healthy fats you need with none of the extra calories.
6. More Cheese, Less Cheese Thighs
You can have your cheese and eat it too. Just pick natural cheeses that are lower in fat like Parmesan, provolone, mozzarella or even lite Swiss, lite Jarlsberg or lite cheddar.
7. Skim the Fat from Dairy
When it comes to milk, yogurt and other dairy products, non-fat organic is the way to go. Swap 2% milk for healthier versions like 1% or non-fat/skim.
8. Say “No” to Nitrates
Low-fat deli meat can also be a little tricky. Look to see if it contains sodium nitrate, this causes inflammation in the body; instead choose a deli meat that contains no nitrates for a healthier meal.
9. Forget “Creamers” and Cream Your Coffee
Replace synthetic, flavored coffee creamers that are high in fats and sugars with soy creamers, or even half-and-half (it’s just a few drops- which won’t load up your thighs), for a new healthier cup-of-joe.
10. Scrub Down
Finally, clean out your fridge! It’s a good rule to clean out your fridge every 3 months with hot, soapy water to avoid any bacteria build up.