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Kaiser Permanente Total Health Tips

JULY

1. Very veggie swaps 

If you sometimes fall short on eating at least five fruits and vegetables daily you’re not alone. But adding color to your healthy diet can be easier with a few simple and delicious swaps:

  • Wrap. Instead of tacos or burritos, try a wrap with lettuce or other greens such as collards.
  • Mash. Use avocado’s creamy flesh to boost a recipe’s health factor with good fats, fiber, and phytonutrients. Mash 1/4 avocado with a little low-fat plain yogurt to replace mayo in a chicken or tuna salad. Try this rich, vegan chocolate pudding from KP’s recipe blog featuring recipes by physicians and staff — it’s unlikely anyone will guess your secret ingredient.
  • Shred. You may have had shredded zucchini or carrots in cake, but have you tried these tasty, vitamin-packed slivers in spaghetti sauce? Summer squash can stand in for potatoes for any meal.

How will you add more fruit or veggie power to your next meal?

2. Look beyond the label 

Is “all-natural” better than “natural”? What’s the difference between “light” and “low calorie”? Do “vine-ripened” tomatoes have more vitamins?Boost your label literacy and shop sensibly with these principles:

  • Read the back. Ignore the sales pitch on the front of the package and head right for the ingredient list and Nutrition Facts panel.  Instead of relying on the promotional claims, pick foods for their contents and nutrients.
  • Eat whole foods. Food in its whole, unprocessed state has less processing to keep nutrients in and harmful ingredients out.
  • Go local. For ultra-fresh, wholesome food, buy from local farmers. July is a great time to explore farmers’ markets or join a CSA or food co-op.
  • Understand the terms. While many foods are labeled as “natural” but may still contain processed ingredients. Similarly, understanding how organic food is grown can help you make an informed decision that is best for you.

Staying healthy is valuable, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. See where you can save while staying fit this month.