100 Health Tips for Food and Nutrition

Follow These Tips To Improve Your Health



1. Remove the skin from chicken: this can cut the fat content by three quarters and the  calories by half. Choose the breast instead of the thigh: skinless dark meat has twice as much fat  as skinless light meat. 

2. Cultivate a taste for buttermilk. It actually contains no butter and usually has very little  fat: most buttermilk today is made from nonfat or low­fat (1%) milk. Not just a refreshing  beverage, buttermilk is also useful in cooking. 

3. Handle ground meats carefully. They are more perishable—and also more likely to cause  food poisoning—than other meats. Once ground, the meat has a larger surface area than whole  cuts, making it an easier target for bacteria. 

4. When your mouth is “on fire” from hot pepper, one way to cool it off is to drink milk (a  spoonful of yogurt will also help). Hot pepper’s burning component is capsaicin, which binds to  your taste buds. Casein, the principal protein in milk, helps wipe away the fiery compound. 

5. Speed up the ripening of most fruits by keeping them in a paper bag for a few days: this traps the ethylene gas produced by the fruit. Apples give off lots of ethylene, so you can speed  the ripening of other fruits by placing half an apple in the bag with them; the apple, however, will turn mushy. 

6. Try evaporated nonfat milk as a low­fat, low­calorie substitute in recipes calling for cream. A half­cup of cream has 400 calories, almost all from fat, while evaporated skim milk has about 100 and only a trace of fat.

7. When preparing lean beef, reduce normal cooking time by 20%, since it cooks faster and  becomes tough when overcooked. Don’t be fooled by the redness: lean pieces cooked to a  medium degree may still look rare.

8. A glass of nearly any orange juice will supply at least the daily RDA for vitamin C. Freshly  squeezed juice usually has the most vitamin C, followed by frozen and canned (which retain their vitamin C for months), then by chilled cartons and unrefrigerated “drink boxes.” Always check  the “sell before” date. The fresher the juice, the more C. 

9. Drink vegetable juice—but don’t expect it to replace whole vegetables in your diet. Vegetable juices are fairly rich in vitamins and minerals but low in calories. For instance, 6  ounces typically contains about 60% of the RDA for vitamin C and nearly half the suggested  daily intake of beta carotene. But vegetable juices provide little fiber (about a gram in 6 ounces). Commercial varieties tend to have lots of sodium. 

10. Eat at least three servings of whole grains a day to reduce your risk of heart disease,  stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. These foods include whole­grain cereals and breads, oats, and  brown rice. 

11. Try to avoid charred grilled meats. Cooked over high heat, fat drips onto the heating  element (coals, wood, gas flames, electric coils), forming potentially cancer­causing chemicals that are deposited on the meat by the rising smoke. Such substances form whenever meat is charred; this also occurs to some extent when meat is broiled or pan­fried, especially if it’s cooked until well done. 

12. To reduce the risks from grilled meats, pick low­fat cuts, and trim all visible fat. Wrap  meat in foil to protect it from the smoke. Don’t place the meat directly over the heat source (push  the coals to the sides of the grill once they are hot). Place aluminum foil or a metal pan between  the meat and the coals to catch the dripping fat. And scrape off charred parts from the cooked  meat. 

13. Eat nuts. Many studies have now found that people who regularly eat nuts, especially  walnuts or almonds, cut their risk of heart disease by as much as half. Nuts are rich in  cholesterol­lowering unsaturated fats, folate and other B vitamins, heart­healthy minerals, vitamin E, arginine (an amino acid that helps relax blood vessels), fiber, and phytochemicals. The trick is to eat nuts in place of other foods. Since they have 160 to 190 calories per ounce, it  is easy to gain weight if you simply add nuts to your daily fare. 

14. For a juice that’s high in iron, choose prune juice. One cup provides 30% of the RDA for men, 17% of that for women. Prune juice is also rich in potassium. 

15. Highly nutritious foods are often low in cost. Among them are bananas, carrots, potatoes, whole­wheat flour, and dried beans—the sort of high fiber foods that nutritionists now  recommend. They also tend to come with minimal packaging—an environmental plus. 

16. Keep coleslaw low­fat. It is usually more fat than it is cabbage, but you can make it low­fat. Instead of mayonnaise, try a dressing made of H cup plain nonfat yogurt, 3 tablespoons apple  juice, and 2 tablespoons vinegar. That’s enough for 1H pounds of shredded cabbage with 2 cups of shredded carrots, 2 shredded celery  stalks, B cup raisins, and 1 diced apple. Each one­cup serving has just 74 calories and almost no  fat. 

17. Consume enough vitamin D. Working with calcium, this vitamin helps keep bones strong. In addition, many studies have looked at its potential to reduce the risk of everything from some  common cancers and multiple sclerosis to diabetes, hypertension, and age­related muscle  weakness, especially in the lower legs. The RDA is 200 to 600 IU of vitamin D a day, but 800 to  1,000 IU is a better target for everyone. Most people need to take supplements to meet this goal. 

18. Read labels on muffins. A bran muffin may not even contain whole­wheat flour and may  have excessive amounts of eggs, butter, and oil, as well as sugar, honey, and other sweeteners. Some have more than 20 grams of fat—as much as a Big Mac—and more than 500 calories. 

19. If you’re susceptible to urinary tract infections (UTIs), try cranberry juice. A study at  Harvard showed that women who drank 10 ounces of cranberry juice cocktail daily significantly  reduced infection rates over a six­ month period. The researchers noted that cranberry juice should be used as an adjunct to medical treatment—not a substitute for it. If a UTI is serious enough to cause symptoms, it requires medical attention. 

20. If you have frequent headaches, look at what you eat. Foods and beverages may play a role  in some headaches, especially migraines. Most of the suspects, such as chocolate, ripe cheeses, and freshly baked yeast products, contain a naturally occurring chemical called tyramine, which  may constrict or dilate blood vessels in the brain. 

21. Keep bacteria out of your food. Wash your hands before starting to prepare any meal. Between steps, wash all equipment that comes in contact with food—especially raw meats—  including the cutting board and countertop. Don’t let cooked or refrigerated foods sit around at  room temperature. Reheat foods to at least 165° F. to be sure that any harmful microorganisms are destroyed. Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator, in cold running water, or in a microwave  oven. 

22. Microwaving tends to destroy fewer vitamins than conventional cooking methods. To get the  most from microwaving, add as little water as possible to the food: a teaspoonful may be  enough to prevent burning. Always cover foods while microwaving; this reduces cooking time  and thus nutrient loss. 

23. To get the most nutrients from your baked potato, eat the potato skin. Ounce for ounce, the skin has far more fiber, iron, potassium, and B vitamins than the flesh. The only reason to  avoid the skin is if the potato has a greenish tinge. That’s chlorophyll, a sign that the potato has been exposed to too much light after harvest. It’s also an indication that solanine (a naturally  occurring toxin) may be present in increased amounts, especially in the skin. This might  cause cramps and diarrhea.

24. Try barley. It is the best source of beta glucan, a soluble fiber known to lower cholesterol. It  also contains another soluble fiber called pectin, along with iron, selenium, zinc, and some B  vitamins. Look for hulled barley, which retains its nutrient­ and fiber­rich bran. Though its bran  has been removed, pearled barley is still a good source of beta glucan. 

25. High­fiber foods can help you lose a little weight. Not only are they filling and nutritious, but their fiber reduces the number of calories your body absorbs from the meal. A USDA study  found that women who double their daily fiber intake from 12 to 24 grams absorb about 90 fewer calories a day from fat and protein, on average; men going from 18 to 36 grams of fiber absorb  about 130 fewer calories. Nutritionists recommend at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber daily. 

26. When you buy salt, choose iodized. Iodine is essential for proper thyroid functioning and for mental development. Iodine was once lacking in the American diet, especially in the Great Lakes region, where deficiency diseases such as goiter (enlarged thyroid) were once common. The  introduction of iodized salt in 1922 did much to correct this. There’s no need to take iodine  supplements. 

27. Check out broccoli. It’s a powerhouse of nutrition. One cup of chopped broccoli supplies the daily requirement of vitamin C, plus beta carotene (and other carotenoids), niacin, calcium, thiamin, vitamin E, and 25% of your daily fiber needs. Not only that, but other substances in  broccoli, such as sulforaphane, may also protect against cancer. All this for only 30 calories. And  don’t forget other cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower, kale, collards, mustard  greens, and Brussels sprouts. 

28. Rounding out the top 10 nutrition all­stars among fruits and vegetables, along with  broccoli and kale, are cantaloupe, carrots, mangoes, pumpkin, red bell peppers, spinach, strawberries, and sweet potato. 

29. To get less mercury from canned tuna, choose chunk light tuna instead of albacore (solid  white) this is especially important for pregnant women and children. Albacore has, on average,  about four times more mercury than chunk light, and some cans of albacore exceed the  maximum mercury levels set for women of childbearing age. Most light tuna, which actually is darker than albacore, comes from smaller varieties, and smaller fish tend to have less mercury. 

30. To ward off strokes, eat more fruits. A large Danish study found that people who ate the  most fruit had a 40% lower risk of ischemic stroke, the most common type, compared to those  who ate little fruit. Citrus fruits were most protective. The likely protective elements in these  foods are vitamin C and flavonoid pigments, plus an array of other antioxidants and  phytochemicals. 

31. Add onions and garlic to your tomato sauce. Such allium vegetables, which also include  leeks and scallions, may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men who eat them frequently. Scallions seem to be the most protective.

32. Eat magnesium­rich foods: they may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, according to a  Swedish study. Good sources of magnesium include nuts, beans, some fish, whole grains, spinach and other leafy greens, and dark chocolate. 

33. When cooking hamburgers, don’t judge doneness by the color inside. Burgers that look  brown in the center may not be cooked through and thus may be unsafe to eat. Cook burgers to  an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C). 

34. Choose dark salad greens. Romaine lettuce, for instance, not only has six times as much  vitamin C and eight times as much beta carotene as iceberg lettuce, but also has more than twice as much folate, a B vitamin that is especially important for women of child­bearing age. Spinach, watercress, arugula, and chicory are other nutritious salad greens. 

35. Reconsider canned corn. The heat processing used to prepare canned corn actually boosts levels of antioxidants and other healthful phytochemicals in sweet corn. Heating corn, whether  on the cob or in the can, has a similar effect. The same is true of carrots and tomatoes: processing  and cooking make carotenoids in them, notably beta carotene and lycopene, more readily  available. 

36. To reduce the calories and saturated fat in your hamburger, substitute beans (such as mashed black beans) or grains (such as cooked bulgur or rice) for some of the chopped meat. The  beans and grains are not just extenders: they also enhance the flavor and boost the fiber content. 

37. Here’s a high­fiber alternative to tomato or cream sauces on pasta: toss the cooked pasta  with canned or homemade lentil or other bean soup. This is a quick version of the nutritious pasta­and­bean dishes popular in Italy. Or purée the soup before adding it to the pasta. 

38. Don’t microwave an egg in its shell, not even to reheat a hard­boiled egg. Pressure can  build up inside, causing the egg to explode in the oven—or even worse, after you take it out, in  which case it can cause burns and serious eye injury. 

39. Opt for 1% or nonfat milk. Low­fat milks are not created equal. A cup of 2% milk contains 5 grams of fat and thus derives 35% of its calories from fat. A cup of 1% milk contains less than  3 grams of fat and gets 22% of its calories from fat. Whole milk contains about 3.5% fat by  weight, yet this fat supplies 50% of its calories. Nonfat milk, of course, has virtually no fat, and  contains just as much calcium as whole milk. 

40. Eat walnuts and flaxseed. They reduce levels of C­reactive protein (a marker for inflammation associated with heart disease) in the body, as well as LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and  triglycerides. These foods are rich in an omega­3 fat called alpha­linolenic acid; canola oil is another source. Studies have shown that alpha­linolenic acid (as well as the other omega­3s in  fish) helps reduce the risk of heart disease.

41. Add a sprinkling of poppy seeds to your green salad to give it a rich, nutty flavor. One  teaspoon of poppy seeds has only 15 calories, healthy fats, and even some calcium and iron. 

42. Use canned pumpkin: it’s as nutritious as fresh, and that’s very nutritious. A half cup has more beta carotene than a standard supplement (15,000 IU), plus a good amount of fiber, iron, and other minerals, but just 40 calories. Besides pies, you can use canned pumpkin in soups, pancakes, bread, muffins, and cookies. Or try mixing it into applesauce or plain low­fat yogurt, along with some sugar or honey. 

43. Keep garlic­in­oil combinations refrigerated, whether commercial or homemade. Garlic  can pick up the bacterium that causes botulism from the soil. Immersing the garlic in oil gives the spores the oxygen­free environment they need to germinate, if left at room temperature. The  resulting toxin cannot be detected by taste or smell. Be equally careful with flavored oils containing herbs. 

44. Try frozen fruits and vegetables as tasty, nutritious snacks. Frozen bananas, strawberries, and blueberries are delicious, and kids who won’t eat cooked peas may like them straight from  the freezer. 

45. If you find that nonfat milk tastes watery, add a tablespoon or two of nonfat dried milk to  each cup. This will help make the milk thicker and richer tasting, and also boost the calcium and  protein content. 

46. Choose a roast beef sandwich instead of a hamburger at fast­food restaurants. Roast beef usually contains less saturated fat and fewer calories. 

47. When shopping for whole­grain, high­fiber bread, read the label carefully. Unless the  label lists whole wheat or another whole grain as the first ingredient, it’s mostly refined white  flour. The following terms or phrases usually mean little on a bread label: multi­grain; made with  3 natural brans; wheatberry; cracked wheat; wheat (simply white flour); stone ground (not an  issue); oatmeal (usually not much); rye (ditto); sprouted wheat; unbleached (but still refined  flour); or unbromated (not treated with potassium bromate—but not necessarily whole grain). Commercial rye and pumpernickel usually contain mostly white flour. 

48. Compare labels on packaged deli meats. A one­ounce slice of turkey breast is almost fatfree—0.2 grams of fat in about 35 calories. Turkey bologna, on the other hand, contains 55  calories and 4 grams of fat in a one­ounce slice, which means that more than 60% its calories come from fat. One ounce of lean ham (labeled “95% fat­free” by weight) gets about one­third of its 37 calories from 1.4 grams of fat. In contrast, regular ham is 11% fat by weight, so about half the 52 calories in a one­ounce slice come from its 3 grams of fat. 

49. If you like sausage but not its extremely high fat content, try one of the meatless sausage products available in health­food stores and specialty shops. These are made from vegetables, beans, grains, and aromatic herbs and spices. Besides breakfast fare, the low­fat, no­cholesterol  “sausage” can be used in casseroles, pasta dishes, stuffing, or pizza. Check the label—not all vegetarian products are low  in fat and calories. 

50. Gradually increase the amount of high­fiber foods you eat. Don’t give up on fiber­rich  grains and produce if they give you gas or cause bloating. Fiber’s health benefits are many, including a reduced risk of colon cancer and constipation. Also, try a variety of fiber­rich foods until you find some that do not cause digestive problems. And it’s important to drink plenty of water when increasing your fiber intake. 

51. If you’re going to keep fresh spinach for more than a few days, you’re better off buying  frozen. That’s because spinach loses nutrients rapidly after picking, even when refrigerated. 

52. Choose colorful peppers. Ounce for ounce, green peppers have three times as much vitamin  C as oranges. And red and yellow peppers have twice as much vitamin C as green ones: a  whopping 170 milligrams in 3 ounces. Green peppers also supply some beta carotene, but the  amount increases greatly as a pepper matures and turns red or yellow. 

53. Don’t rinse packaged domestic rice: it’s unnecessary and it washes away some of the  vitamins and minerals added to enrich it. Possible exceptions: rice purchased in bulk from open  bins and some imported rices. 

54. If you take calcium supplements, stick with plain old calcium carbonate, the type found in  some antacids—it’s by far the cheapest. All types of calcium supplements contain the amount  promised on the label and all dissolve reliably in lab tests. Take calcium carbonate with food. Another good option: calcium citrate. 

55. Don’t take more than 500 milligrams of calcium supplements at a time. Split larger doses and take half later in the day to enhance absorption and reduce the risk of constipation. 

56. When reading menus, watch out for these terms, which are giveaways to high­calorie, fatty  foods: creamed, crispy, breaded, à la king, croquettes, carbonara, parmigiana, meunière, tempura, fritters, fritto, Alfredo, au gratin, au beurre, batter­dipped, bearnaise, béchamel, and hollandaise. 

57. Don’t assume that “natural” sodas containing fruit juice are lower in calories than  regular sodas. Sometimes they actually have more calories—and only a modest amount of added  nutrients. If you’re trying to cut calories, stick with plain or flavored seltzers, or mix them with  juice. 

58. Try low­fat or fat­free tub margarines. Typically, low­fat tub margarine has only 2 grams of fat and just 20 calories per tablespoon, and nearly no heart damaging trans fat. Standard stick  margarine has 11 grams of fat and 100 calories per tablespoon, plus lots of trans fat.

59. Don’t think that dry­roasted nuts are significantly lower in calories than regular roasted  nuts. Because nuts are so high in fat to begin with, roasting them in oil (read: frying) hardly  makes a difference. Roasted nuts absorb little oil anyway. 

60. To increase the amount of iron your body absorbs from vegetarian foods, consume foods and drinks rich in vitamin C (such as orange, grapefruit, or tomato juice) with your meals. 

61. Choose condiments wisely. Ketchup and prepared mustard are lowcalorie, low­fat flavor boosters only 15 calories per tablespoon—but they’re high in sodium, with 150 to 180  milligrams per tablespoon. Make sodium­free mustard by mixing mustard powder with water, vinegar, or milk. Prepared horseradish has half the calories and one­tenth the sodium of mustard  or ketchup. 

62. If you’re trying to lose weight, keep a daily food and activity diary. You don’t have to  track every calorie eaten or burned—just the act of writing down what you generally eat and how  much you exercise can motivate you. 

63. Make lower­calorie tortilla chips by baking fresh tortillas at 400° F. for8 to 10 minutes, or until crisp. You can cut them into triangles before baking, or break them into chips afterward. 

64. To preserve vitamin C, store orange juice in a tightly closed container at 40° F. or below. Whole, unpeeled oranges, however, hardly lose any vitamin C over time, since no oxygen comes in contact with the edible part. Even in a day or two of sweltering weather, an orange would lose  less than 10% of its C. If you keep the fruit cool, it would dry out or rot before it lost a  significant amount of vitamin C. 

65. Don’t fear coffee. It has been blamed for everything from high blood pressure to pancreatic  cancer, but in nearly every instance early research linking coffee or caffeine to health problems has been refuted by better subsequent studies. The pendulum has swung so far that some  researchers now suggest that coffee may actually have health benefits. 

66. Instead of putting a large pot of hot food directly in the refrigerator or leaving it out to  cool off, place it in a deep pan of cold water (ice cubes will speed things up). Water is effective  at removing heat. Once the food has cooled substantially, it can be refrigerated. One advantage of this method is that the hot food won’t raise the temperature of the refrigerator. 

67. Try a new fruit or vegetable every month, or every week. From the mundane to the  exotic—from parsnips and artichokes to mangos and guavas—there are lots of choices, especially in farmers’ markets and stores geared for various ethnic cuisines. This will help you  meet the nine­a­day­minimum recommendation and will boost your intake of antioxidants and  other substances that may lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.

68. Avoid fried eggplant. It soaks up oil quickly, like a sponge—more than any other vegetable, even more than French fries. Try grilling, broiling, baking, steaming, or braising it instead of frying. 

69. Follow these guidelines for cooking eggs. You need not cook eggs to the hard and rubbery  stage. Boiling an egg in its shell at 140° for 3H minutes should kill virtually all bacteria. Scrambled eggs and omelets are fine if cooked just past the runny, moist stage (they should be  set, but don’t have to be rock hard). If you’re frying eggs, “over easy” is best: fry them for about  3 minutes on one side, then about 1 minute on the other. 

70. Eat sweet potatoes. Despite their sweet taste, they have about the same number of calories per ounce as white potatoes. A 3H­ounce baked sweet potato contains three times the  recommended daily amount of beta carotene, half theRDA for vitamin C, and just 100 calories. 

71. Avoid the typical package of ground poultry, which usually contains skin and too much  fat. Look for ground turkey breast; it should be labeled 96 to 98% fat­free (by weight). 

72. Try veggie burgers. They’re served in many restaurants, and you’ll find them in frozen, refrigerated, or mix form in the grocery store. Veggie burgers may be primarily soy and/or may  contain any combination of mushrooms, onions, peppers, rice, oats, barley, bulgur (cracked  wheat), rye, gluten (wheat protein), beans, spices, and egg whites. In a restaurant, ask the waiter  what’s in the veggie burger and how it’s cooked. Some veggie burgers are almost fat­free, but  some are high in fat, especially if nuts or cheese are major ingredients. 

73. Eat beans and other legumes. Beans, lentils, and dried peas are all good sources of soluble  fiber, which, if consumed regularly, may help lower blood cholesterol levels. 

74. Cook with fresh herbs. They contain powerful antioxidant compounds, according to a  USDA analysis. Herbs that scored highest by far were oregano and marjoram—just a tablespoon  or two of the chopped herbs would supply significant amounts of antioxidants. Fresh herbs are  more potent (in flavor and antioxidant power) than their dried counterparts, and culinary herbs in  general have more antioxidant potential than medicinal ones, such as ginkgo. 

75. To boost your calcium, eat sardines. When eaten with their small edible bones, three small  fish (one ounce each) supply 370 milligrams of calcium, more than a cup of milk. Canned  salmon, also eaten with its bones, supplies nearly as much calcium. 

76. Try pink or red grapefruit. Ounce for ounce, the pink variety has more than 40 times more  beta carotene than white grapefruit. And the darker the pulp, the more lycopene. This carotenoid, also plentiful in tomatoes, may help lower the risk of certain cancers.

77. Don’t blindly trust those plastic pop­up timers on poultry. They work fairly well, but  double­check the results. Insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh. The  temperature should reach 185°, and the leg should move easily. Juices should run clear from  breast meat. Most labels also suggest that you time your bird: multiply the weight (in pounds) by  20 minutes—or more for a stuffed bird. Cook it that long even if the popper pops earlier or never pops at all. 

78. Don’t believe rumors about the artificial sweetener aspartame, claiming that it causes everything from multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and brain tumors to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, headaches, and blindness. Aspartame has been more intensively studied than almost any  other food additive. The FDA, American Medical Association, and World Health Organization  have concluded that it is safe. Aspartame’s only proven danger is for people with  phenylketonuria, an uncommon genetic disorder—the labels warn about this. 

79. Weigh your bagel. Many fresh­baked bagels now weigh six or seven ounces and pack 500  calories or more. Plain bagels, like any plain bread, have 70 to 80 calories per ounce. 

80. Eat canned salmon it’s an easy way to get lots of heart ­healthy omega­3 fatty acids and, if you eat the soft bones, calcium. But if you want wild salmon, check the label. Until recently, nearly all canned salmon was wild­caught, which has fewer contaminants than farmed. But more  companies are now using farmed. Alaskan salmon is usually wild, and the label will say “wild.”  If it’s called “Atlantic salmon,” it is farmed. 

81. Limit your intake of vitamin A, since it can weaken your bones. A study found that  consuming more than 6,600 IU of vitamin A from food or supplements increased the risk of fractures. The main problem is supplements: don’t take a separate A pill, and check how much is in your multivitamin. And check the labels on highly fortified breakfast cereals. Beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, is safe for your bones. 

82. To keep dried peas and beans from causing flatulence, discard the soaking water, and  don’t consume the cooking water. This eliminates more than half of the indigestible  carbohydrates that cause gas. 

83. Don’t stuff a turkey hours before cooking it. Stuff the bird only when you’re ready to put  it in the oven. If you refrigerate a large stuffed turkey for later cooking, the stuffing may not chill  fast enough. Because any stuffing (bread or rice) is starchy, it provides an environment bacteria  can thrive in. Cooking the stuffing separately is easier and safer. And don’t let the bird sit around  after dinner. Always remove the stuffing from the cavity and refrigerate separately. 

84. Don’t assume that a wine cooler is “light.” It isn’t: a 12­ounce bottle has more alcohol than  a 12­ounce can of beer, 5­ounce glass of wine, or ounce of liquor. It also contains 150 to 300  calories.

85. It’s okay to eat an egg with a blood spot. That does not indicate that an egg has been  fertilized or is old. Most eggs with blood spots are removed during the grading process, but they  are safe to eat. 

86. Don’t shy away from shellfish. Many types notably crab, scallops, mussels, clams, and  lobster are actually slightly lower in cholesterol than chicken or beef. Even though shrimp and  crayfish have about twice as much cholesterol as meat, they contain much less fat, and their fat is largely unsaturated and includes heart­healthy omega­3 fatty acids. 

87. Drink the leftover milk from your breakfast cereal bowl. A significant amount of the  vitamins added to fortify most cereals winds up in the milk, so it’s especially nutritious. 

88. Try carrot juice. A cup has as much beta carotene and vitamin C as three medium carrots. Unfortunately, it has less fiber than one carrot. 

89. Don’t think that fruit­only preserves are healthier. Most jams and jellies are about half fruit, half added sugar. Fruit­only preserves are usually sweetened with fruit juice concentrate, which is mostly fructose and has as many calories as table sugar and no nutritional advantage. 

90. Cook in cast­iron pots to increase the iron in foods cooked in them. The more acidic the  ingredients (such as tomatoes) and the longer you cook them, the more iron ends up in the  finished dish. 

91. It’s safe to refrigerate meat or poultry in store wrapping. Actually, by not rewrapping it  you may reduce the health risks, since every time you handle raw meat you increase the chance of bacterial contamination. 

92. Don’t shy away from olives. They are high in fat, but the fat is mostly monounsaturated and  thus heart­healthy. An ounce of pitted olives (about four “jumbo”) averages only 30 calories and  3 grams of fat. Olives also supply some calcium, fiber, vitamin E, and healthful phytochemicals, such as phenols and lignans. The main drawback is sodium, about 200 milligrams per ounce—  but you can rinse off some of this. 

93. Look for lean cuts of pork. Many cuts are about one­third leaner than they were 25 years ago. The leanest is pork tenderloin, which has just 4 grams of fat and 135 calories in a welltrimmed 3­ounce cooked serving. 

94. Eat that parsley. Fresh parsley contains relatively high amounts of beta carotene and  vitamin C. But you have to eat about seven sprigs of it to get 10% of the RDA for these nutrients, so try parsley as a salad green, not just as a garnish. 

95. Marinate meat only in the refrigerator. Don’t put cooked meat or poultry back into an  uncooked marinade, and don’t serve the used marinade as a table sauce unless you heat it to a  boil for at least one minute. The used marinade may have been contaminated by bacteria from  the raw meat.

96. Skip the bacon and cheese. A bacon cheeseburger averages 250 more calories than a plain  hamburger—plus a good deal more saturated fat and cholesterol. 

97. When shopping for onions, look for stronger ­tasting varieties. The strong taste and smell  come from antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, which may reduce the risk of cancer and  other diseases. Western Yellow, New York Bold, and Northern Red onions are highest in  polyphenols. Shallots, though milder in flavor, also rank high. 

98. Steam instead of boiling. Mineral loss is usually twice as great in boiled vegetables as in  steamed ones. 

99. When you eat yogurt or cottage cheese, don’t discard the whey—the watery part that  separates out and sits on top. It contains B vitamins and minerals but almost no fat. Stir the whey  back into the yogurt or cheese. 

100. Watch out for Japanese ramen (wheat noodles), packaged as an instant soup  “lunch­in­a­mug.” They are very high in fat because they are usually dried by deep­frying in lard  or palm oil. Another drawback is the high sodium content of the accompanying seasoning  packet.