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Be Smart, Eat Well, Get Healthy

Good Nutrition: Make the Better Choice

Give up gluten, go sugar free, watch those carbs, put butter in your coffee and drink apple cider vinegar. Sound confusing? Yes, it is. There is so much "diet advice' "out there" that it makes your head spin. How can we make sense of all this? Our society is quick to jump on trends and myths looking for a cure all. There is no quick fix. The short answer to the nutrition question is to eat a variety of foods. Each food group provides nutrients necessary for good health. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, a healthy eating plan:

  • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Is low in saturated fats,transfats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars
  • Stays within your daily calorie needs

So, fill half your plate with fruits and veggies at each meal. Need a snack? Have some fruit. Do not be afraid of frozen or canned. Mix it up a little—there are so many options for healthy eating. Just remember to make better choices —potatoes rather than chips, chicken breasts instead of nuggets, carrots more often than cookies. You get the picture. Why fruits and vegetables? Eating more fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet may help you reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and some forms of cancer.

  1. The fiber in fruits and vegetables may help to lower blood cholesterol levels.
  2. Eating more fruits and vegetables may help reduce your chance of Type 2 diabetes.
  3. Foods that are rich in potassium like oranges, bananas and baked potatoes may help you maintain a healthy blood pressure.
  4. Almost all fruits and many vegetables are low in fat and sodium. Also, fruits and vegetables are naturally cholesterol free.
  5. Fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals (plant compounds) that may help prevent or delay disease and help you maintain good health

Nature creates foods so that they nourish our bodies. We have simply been ignoring nature for far too long, it is time to get back to the basics—Eat Real Food!

Be Smart, Eat Well, Get Healthy!


Lighter Fried Fish Fillets

1 pound fish fillets
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1½ tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1½ tablespoons whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon Hungarian paprika (optional)
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
Cooking spray


  1. Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°.
  3. Rinse fillets under cold water, pat dry.
  4. Combine Parmesan cheese, cornmeal, flour, pepper and paprika in plastic bag.
  5. Shake fillets one at a time in bag to coat with cheese mixture.
  6. Place fillets in baking dish. Drizzle oil over fillets. Bake about 10 minutes per inch thickness of fish or until fish is opaque when flaked. Fillets may need to be turned half-way through baking.

See the how-to video:

Apple-Berry Crisp

1 large apple
¾ cup fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries
4 packets Equal
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup uncooked oats
¼ cup flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped pecans
1½ tablespoons low-fat (not non-fat) margarine
Cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Coat inside of 1-quart heat-proof baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Peel and slice apple into dish. Add fresh or frozen blueberries and toss lightly.
  4. Combine cinnamon and sweeteners in mixing bowl. Sprinkle over fruit.
  5. In same mixing bowl combine oats, flour, brown sugar, and pecans. Add margarine and mix with fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit in baking dish.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or just until fruit juices bubble up on sides and in the middle of the dish.

From Recipes for Diabetes by University of Illinois Extension