It's a brand new year, and one of our big projects on Our Site is finding ways to help YOU eat healthier. What exactly do we mean by that? Here's everything you need to know.
Photography Credit:Alison Conklin and Alison Bickel
It’s a brand new year, friends! New beginnings and new projects to tackle! New mountains to climb and new goals to achieve! I admit to being one of those annoying people who wakes up on January 1st with a big smile on my face and a notepad already in hand for writing out a long list of things I want to do. (Don’t hate me.)
One of the big projects we’re tackling here at Our Site this new year has to do with healthy eating.
I’m not talking about dieting or any kind of calorie counting or restrictive eating. I’m talking about straight-up healthy eating. The good foods we put in our mouths to make our bodies feel awesome and ready to climb all those mountains.
HEALTHY EATING RESET CHALLENGE (FREE!)
Want to kick off your own healthy eating adventure? Join us this January for our first ever January Reset Challenge! Blogger and registered dietitian Katie Morford is going to help us think through what healthy eating means to each of us so we can make good decisions for our own bodies.
Participation is entirely free and includes:
- Weekly meal plans that are custom-made for our January Reset
- A new challenge each week to fine-tune healthy habits (with prizes!)
- New recipes, developed especially for the Challenge
- Access to a private Facebook group to share ideas, learn new tips, and get inspired
Ready?! Sign up for the January Reset Challenge right here!
What does healthy eating mean to Our Site? I’m glad you asked! Read on!
HEALTHY EATING ISN’T ONE SIZE FITS ALL
Healthy eating isn’t a one size fits all situation. It has a lot to do with our individual bodies and what makes us each feel good or not-so-good. It’s about paying attention to what our bodies are telling us and making little adjustments along the way. It’s a work in progress.
So healthy eating for you might look a little (or a lot) different than what it looks like for me—and hey, that’s ok.
A ROADMAP FOR HEALTHY EATING
But still, we have to start somewhere, right? Here is the general roadmap for what we consider to be everyday healthy eating here on Our Site:
- Lots of fruits and vegetables of every stripe and color
- A variety of whole grains, legumes, and beans
- Protein! Fish, chicken, tofu, tempeh, and eggs in our weekly meals, with room for occasional lean cuts of red meat
- Fresh dairy foods like yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, and milk, as well as their non-dairy counterparts. Cheese, too, but in moderation.
- Foods that provide healthy fats, such as nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil
- Whole grain versions of breads, pastas, and tortillas
- Mindful use of added sugars, with an emphasis on less processed sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and dates
You’ve probably noticed the absence of things like refined sugar, fatty cuts of meat, heavily processed foods, foods with artificial ingredients, and sweetened drinks on this list. That doesn’t mean that they are no-no’s; it just means that it’s probably best to rely on them less heavily. Think of them as a treat rather than a part of your everyday diet.
Also, everything in moderation. This is just a roadmap, and you’re allowed to veer off the path for a picnic every now and then.
“HEALTHY” RECIPES ON Our Site
We’ve created a new collection of recipes from Our Site archive that fit the guidelines we talked about above. You can take a look at it right here:
- Healthy Recipes on Our Site
We’ll be adding to this collection all the time, so bookmark it for when you need some help planning meals for the week or inspiration to get you out of a rut.
Sample Menus: Healthy Eating for Older Adults
Planning a day’s worth of meals using smart food choices might seem overwhelming at first. Here are some sample menus to show you how easy it can be. These menus provide 2,000 calories a day and do not exceed the recommended amount of sodium or calories from saturated fats and added sugars. You might need to eat fewer or more calories, depending on your height, weight, activity level and whether you are a man or a woman.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ChooseMyPlate offers sample two-week menus. These menus provide recommended food group amounts for a 2,000-calorie USDA Food Pattern. They also meet recommended intake amounts for almost all nutrients. The menus include healthy dishes that you can learn to prepare from recipes at What’s Cooking? USDA Healthy Mixing Bowl. Other cookbooks and healthy recipes for many different types of cuisines are featured at:
Trying to lose weight? Check out these 1,200- and 1,600-calorie menus. These sample menus reflect several culinary styles: traditional American cuisine, Asian- American cuisine, Southern cuisine, Mexican-American cuisine, and lacto-ovo vegetarian cuisine. These menus also make use of the What’s Cooking? recipe database.
- Create a list of your eating habits. Keep a food diary for a few days. Write down everything you eat and the time of day you eat it. This will help you uncover your habits. For example, you might discover that you always seek a sweet snack to get you through the mid-afternoon energy slump. Use this diary pdf icon [PDF-36KB] to help. It&rsquos good to note how you were feeling when you decided to eat, especially if you were eating when not hungry. Were you tired? Stressed out?
- Highlight the habits on your list that may be leading you to overeat. Common eating habits that can lead to weight gain are:
- Eating too fast
- Always cleaning your plate
- Eating when not hungry
- Eating while standing up (may lead to eating mindlessly or too quickly)
- Always eating dessert
- Skipping meals (or maybe just breakfast)
- Look at the unhealthy eating habits you&rsquove highlighted. Be sure you&rsquove identified all the triggers that cause you to engage in those habits. Identify a few you&rsquod like to work on improving first. Don&rsquot forget to pat yourself on the back for the things you&rsquore doing right. Maybe you usually eat fruit for dessert, or you drink low-fat or fat-free milk. These are good habits! Recognizing your successes will help encourage you to make more changes.
- Create a list of &ldquocues&rdquo by reviewing your food diary to become more aware of when and where you&rsquore &ldquotriggered&rdquo to eat for reasons other than hunger. Note how you are typically feeling at those times. Often an environmental &ldquocue&rdquo, or a particular emotional state, is what encourages eating for non-hunger reasons.
- Common triggers for eating when not hungry are:
- Opening up the cabinet and seeing your favorite snack food.
- Sitting at home watching television.
- Before or after a stressful meeting or situation at work.
- Coming home after work and having no idea what&rsquos for dinner.
- Having someone offer you a dish they made &ldquojust for you!&rdquo
- Walking past a candy dish on the counter.
- Sitting in the break room beside the vending machine.
- Seeing a plate of doughnuts at the morning staff meeting.
- Swinging through your favorite drive-through every morning.
- Feeling bored or tired and thinking food might offer a pick-me-up.
- Circle the &ldquocues&rdquo on your list that you face on a daily or weekly basis. While the Thanksgiving holiday may be a trigger to overeat, for now focus on cues you face more often. Eventually you want a plan for as many eating cues as you can.
- Ask yourself these questions for each &ldquocue&rdquo you&rsquove circled:
- Is there anything I can do to avoid the cue or situation? This option works best for cues that don&rsquot involve others. For example, could you choose a different route to work to avoid stopping at a fast food restaurant on the way? Is there another place in the break room where you can sit so you&rsquore not next to the vending machine?
- For things I can&rsquot avoid, can I do something differently that would be healthier? Obviously, you can&rsquot avoid all situations that trigger your unhealthy eating habits, like staff meetings at work. In these situations, evaluate your options. Could you suggest or bring healthier snacks or beverages? Could you offer to take notes to distract your attention? Could you sit farther away from the food so it won&rsquot be as easy to grab something? Could you plan ahead and eat a healthy snack before the meeting?
Reasons to Eat Whole Foods
Here are six reasons we should eat more whole foods, according to nutrition experts:
Phytochemicals. In the past 10 years, scientists have identified hundreds of biologically active plant-food components called phytochemicals (or phytonutrients). They include the powerful antioxidant lycopene, a red-colored carotenoid found mainly in tomatoes anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant that gives deep blue color to berries and pterostilbene, which appears to turn on a "switch" in cells that breaks down fat and cholesterol, and is found in blueberries and the Gamay and Pinot Noir varieties of grapes.
The only way to make sure you're getting the phytochemicals we know about, as well as the ones we haven't yet discovered or named, is to eat plant foods in their whole, unprocessed form (or ground, if they're grains or seeds).
Nutrient shortages. According to national survey results published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, almost a third of us get too little vitamin C almost half get too little vitamin A more than half get too little magnesium and some 92% to 97% get too little fiber and potassium. Yet, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), these particular nutrients help lower the risk of our major health problems: cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
What's the easiest way to correct this nutrient shortage? Two words: whole foods. "Almost all of the shortfalls identified by this survey can be corrected by eating a balanced, mostly plant-based diet," says AICR nutrition advisor Karen Collins, RD.
Good fats. When you eat a diet made up mostly of whole foods, it's easier to decrease the bad-for-you fats (trans fats and saturated fats) often added to processed foods and fast food. At the same time, it's easier to emphasize the "good" fats (omega-3s from fish and plants, and monounsaturated fat from plant sources).
Fiber. Most whole plant foods are rich in fiber many processed foods, junk foods, and fast foods are not. Fiber helps your health in all sorts of ways keeps the GI tract moving, helps you feel full faster, and it helps fight heart disease and diabetes.
"Foods are a better way to get fiber than supplements. You get the whole package," says Martin O. Weickert, MD, of the German Institute of Human Nutrition. That's because most plant foods have both types of fiber (soluble and insoluble).
Eating fiber-rich foods is linked to control of blood sugar, blood lipids (fats), and weight in adults, according to researchers from the Georgia Prevention Institute who recently did a study on whole-grain foods and abdominal fat in teenagers.
Fewer 'extras.' Whole foods are as nature made them, without added fat, sugar, or sodium. Eating more whole foods will help you cut down on calories from the added fats and sugars we get from processed and fast foods.
Whole grains. You might think the benefits of whole grains have mostly to do with fiber, but there's so much more than that. "Whole grains are rich in a myriad of vitamins, minerals and phytochemical compounds that, alone or in combination, are likely to have significant health benefits that are beyond that from dietary fiber," notes Simin Liu, MD, ScD, a researcher and professor of epidemiology at the University of California-Los Angeles.
Want to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and improve your cholesterol levels? Then switch to whole grains. Whole-grain foods have recently been linked to lower levels of blood glucose and insulin after meals. And according to Liu, research consistently supports the premise that eating more whole-grain foods can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Eating more whole grains may also lead to less visceral adipose tissue – a type of fat that's deposited between the organs and the abdominal muscles, and is thought to be particularly unhealthy. A Georgia Prevention Institute study that measured the abdominal fat and food intake of 460 teenagers concluded that whole-grain foods may help protect against the accumulation of this type of fat in some teens.
Dining Out Doesn't Mean Ditch Your Diet
Who doesn&rsquot love dinner on the town? Use these tips to stay on your healthy eating track even when you eat out.
We know how hectic life is &ndash working late, after-school activities, trying to cram in a gym session, and catching up with friends, or better still, your spouse! Sometimes cooking at home just isn&rsquot an option.
What you need to know is that there are healthy options when dining out. Many restaurants now offer delicious meals and menu items that are better for you. But it still takes a little bit of effort and a splash of willpower to construct a healthy meal away from home.
4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
You need some fat in your diet, but it's important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat you're eating.
There are 2 main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.
On average, men should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day. On average, women should have no more than 20g of saturated fat a day.
Children under the age of 11 should have less saturated fat than adults, but a low-fat diet is not suitable for children under 5.
Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as:
- fatty cuts of meat
- hard cheese
Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils and spreads, oily fish and avocados.
For a healthier choice, use a small amount of vegetable or olive oil, or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee.
When you're having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat.
All types of fat are high in energy, so they should only be eaten in small amounts.
Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay.
Sugary foods and drinks are often high in energy (measured in kilojoules or calories), and if consumed too often can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.
Free sugars are any sugars added to foods or drinks, or found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies.
This is the type of sugar you should be cutting down on, rather than the sugar found in fruit and milk.
Many packaged foods and drinks contain surprisingly high amounts of free sugars.
Free sugars are found in many foods, such as:
- sugary fizzy drinks
- sugary breakfast cereals
- pastries and puddings
- sweets and chocolate
- alcoholic drinks
Food labels can help. Use them to check how much sugar foods contain.
More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g means the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means the food is low in sugar.
Whether you have a toddler or a teen, here are five of the best strategies to improve nutrition and encourage smart eating habits:
- Have regular family meals.
- Serve a variety of healthy foods and snacks.
- Be a role model by eating healthy yourself. over food. in the process.
Sure, eating well can be hard &mdash family schedules are hectic and grab-and-go convenience food is readily available. But our tips can help make all five strategies part of your busy household.
Family meals are a comforting ritual for both parents and kids. Children like the predictability of family meals and parents get a chance to catch up with their kids. Kids who take part in regular family meals are also:
- more likely to eat fruits, vegetables, and grains
- less likely to snack on unhealthy foods
- less likely to smoke, use marijuana, or drink alcohol
Also, family meals are a chance for parents to introduce kids to new foods and to be role models for healthy eating.
Teens may turn up their noses at the prospect of a family meal &mdash not surprising because they're busy and want to be more independent. Yet studies find that teens still want their parents' advice and counsel, so use mealtime as a chance to reconnect.
You might also try these tips:
- Let kids invite a friend to dinner.
- Involve your child in meal planning and preparation.
- Keep mealtime calm and friendly &mdash no lectures or arguing.
What counts as a family meal? Whenever you and your family eat together &mdash whether it's takeout food or a home-cooked meal with all the trimmings. Strive for nutritious food and a time when everyone can be there. This may mean eating dinner a little later to accommodate a teen who's at sports practice. It also can mean setting aside time on the weekends when it may be more convenient to gather as a group, such as for Sunday brunch.
Stock Up on Healthy Foods
Kids, especially younger ones, will eat mostly what's available at home. That's why it's important to control the supply lines &mdash the foods that you serve for meals and have on hand for snacks.
Follow these basic guidelines:
- Work fruits and vegetables into the daily routine, aiming for the goal of at least five servings a day. Be sure you serve fruit or vegetables at every meal.
- Make it easy for kids to choose healthy snacks by keeping fruits and vegetables on hand and ready to eat. Other good snacks include low-fat yogurt, peanut butter and celery, or whole-grain crackers and cheese.
- Serve lean meats and other good sources of protein, such as fish, eggs, beans, and nuts.
- Choose whole-grain breads and cereals so kids get more fiber.
- Limit fat intake by avoiding fried foods and choosing healthier cooking methods, such as broiling, grilling, roasting, and steaming. Choose low-fat or nonfat dairy products.
- Limit fast food and low-nutrient snacks, such as chips and candy. But don't completely ban favorite snacks from your home. Instead, make them "once-in-a-while" foods, so kids don't feel deprived.
- Limit sugary drinks, such as soda and fruit-flavored drinks. Serve water and low-fat milk instead.
Be a Role Model
The best way for you to encourage healthy eating is to eat well yourself. Kids will follow the lead of the adults they see every day. By eating fruits and vegetables and not overindulging in the less nutritious stuff, you'll be sending the right message.
Another way to be a good role model is to serve appropriate portions and not overeat. Talk about your feelings of fullness, especially with younger children. You might say, "This is delicious, but I'm full, so I'm going to stop eating." Similarly, parents who are always dieting or complaining about their bodies may foster these same negative feelings in their kids. Try to keep a positive approach about food.
Don't Battle Over Food
It's easy for food to become a source of conflict. Well-intentioned parents might find themselves bargaining or bribing kids so they eat the healthy food in front of them. A better strategy is to give kids some control, but to also limit the kind of foods available at home.
Kids should decide if they're hungry, what they will eat from the foods served, and when they're full. Parents control which foods are available to their kids, both at mealtime and between meals. Here are some guidelines to follow:
- Establish a predictable schedule of meals and snacks. It's OK to choose not to eat when both parents and kids know when to expect the next meal or snack.
- Don't force kids to clean their plates. Doing so teaches kids to override feelings of fullness.
- Don't bribe or reward kids with food. Avoid using dessert as the prize for eating the meal.
- Don't use food as a way of showing love. When you want to show love, give kids a hug, some of your time, or praise.
Get Kids Involved
Most kids will enjoy deciding what to make for dinner. Talk to them about making choices and planning a balanced meal. Some might even want to help shop for ingredients and prepare the meal. At the store, teach kids to check out food labels to begin understanding what to look for.
In the kitchen, select age-appropriate tasks so kids can play a part without getting injured or feeling overwhelmed. And at the end of the meal, don't forget to praise the chef.
School lunches can be another learning lesson for kids. More important, if you can get them thinking about what they eat for lunch, you might be able to help them make positive changes. Brainstorm about what kinds of foods they'd like for lunch or go to the grocery store to shop together for healthy, packable foods.
There's another important reason why kids should be involved: It can help prepare them to make good decisions on their own about the foods they want to eat. That's not to say they'll suddenly want a salad instead of french fries, but the mealtime habits you help create now can lead to a lifetime of healthier choices.
Check out some healthy recipes for kids of all ages.
What’s the best diet for me? Keto vs Paleo vs Plant-based.
“Low fat diets? Low carb diets? No carb diets? I don’t know which one is the BEST diet!”
“Help me, Steve Kamb, you’re my only hope.”
Okay, you’re probably not saying that, but it’s an excuse to pay homage to Star Wars so I can use the great photo above.
You probably do have questions though about what’s healthier, a low fat diet or a low carb diet.
Low carb diets are all the rage right now, but are they healthy and will they help you lose weight?
It depends on how your body regulates glucose (blood sugar)  :
Some who don’t regulate glucose well do better on a lower carb diet.
Others who do regulate glucose well might do better on a lower fat diet.
Studies show that people who follow EITHER a low fat OR a low carb diet will still lose weight, as long as they are in caloric restriction and can adhere to the diet for at least a year  .
So, it comes down to: “which diet are you more likely to stick with for a year or longer?”
I personally lost 22 pounds over 6 months on a lower fat diet (and eating plenty of carbs), but everybody is different.
This means you’ll need to experiment and see which is better for your lifestyle, and your day to day well-being.
But I bet you have questions about the big popular diets too.
I’ve written a huge guide that covers all popular weight-loss diets together, but we’ve also written individual ultimate guides that cover:
Let’s look at each of these diets and explain why they will help you lose weight, at least temporarily:
Truth #1: Every diet works in the short term.
Truth #2: Nearly every diet fails in the long term.
Let’s address these two truths individually:
Why does every diet work in the short term ?
All the diets above have a clever way of restricting calories without you needing to count calories, which leads to weight loss:
- Paleo Diet: eliminate everything but veggies, meat, fruit, and nuts.
- Intermittent Fasting: skip an entire meal!
- Keto Diet: remove an entire macronutrient from your diet (carbs).
- Military Diet: Only eat specific foods in certain quantities.
- Plant-based Diet: Only eat vegetables and foods from plants.
- Carnivore Diet: Only eat meat! Eliminate everything else.
Of course there are plenty of benefits from following certain diets for certain groups of people. For example, Larry went Keto and it helped him reduce inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis.
However, 99% of the reason why these diets result in short term weight loss is that they get us to eat fewer calories!
The problems arise when we get to Truth 2:
“Nearly every diet fails in the long term.”
Temporary changes create temporary results.
If somebody “goes Keto” for 60 days, they’ll most likely lose weight, and might even feel better! This is cool.
If they spend those 60 days in misery, dreaming of carbs, counting down the meals until they can “go back to eating like normal,” they will put all of the weight back.
In order for restrictive diets to create permanent results for somebody, they need to be adopted PERMANENTLY!
For most of us mere mortals, we can’t stick with a restrictive diet for 30 days, let alone a year or a decade.
For these reasons, I strongly advise you to change how you think about dieting.
You need to determine how likely you are to stick with a restrictive diet permanently:
- How averse are you to change?
- How likely are you to stick with your changes?
- Have you tried a restrictive diet in the past and failed?
- Do you have a healthy relationship with food?
- Do you have an “All or nothing?” mindset?
Like playing a video game, you need to determine what level of difficulty you are willing to attempt.
Playing on “Ultra Hard Difficulty” (like Keto) gives you less room for error, but it can also produce impressive results quickly – if you don’t rage quit.
And 99% of people rage quit restrictive diets like Keto.
So what’s the best diet for you?
I’ll give you the same answer that I give people when they ask me, “What’s the best workout plan?”:
The best diet is the one that helps you reach your goals, that you ENJOY, and that you’ll actually stick with permanently!
Personally, I don’t follow any sort of restrictive diet .
I’m a big fan of small changes that eventually produce big results, like my boy Optimus Prime:
This is why I’ve SLOWWWWLY adjusted my diet over the past decade, so that no change was too drastic and I could stick with it permanently.
It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle change. Permanently.
And that’s what I would recommend for you:
Small, non-scary, permanent changes over a long time period!
You need to start thinking in terms of “days and years,” not “weeks and months:”
How to Grocery Shop, Cook and Meal Prep!
Okay! Now that you’ve determined your healthy eating strategy, it’s time to take action.
There are three big steps you’ll want to master if this is your path:
Step #1: Grocery Shopping! You can read our full guide on “ How to grocery shop ”, and we even have a video that keeps things fun too:
In the next section, we share recipes for basic healthy meals that you can cook at home.
Here’s why cooking at home is amazing:
- You know all of the ingredients. When you eat at restaurants or pick up fast food, there are often hidden calories in the cooking oils and sauces that are sabotaging your healthy efforts. Because of this, it’s really hard to have an idea of how many calories you’re consuming. When you prepare food at home, you know what you’re getting.
- You can recreate healthier versions of your favorite foods. Making homemade tacos or pizza with homemade dough can be a great date-night experience, makes your stomach happy, AND can help you reach your goals!
- You save money. If your budget is tight, grocery shopping and cooking your own meals is a great way to balance your budget and free up some cash! Our most successful coaching clients work with their coaches on building the habit of cooking at home.
Now, if you’re somebody who only ever uses your kitchen to heat up microwave meals, that’s no problem.
Here are the guides you should check out:
- Cooking 101: Essential Kitchen Tools: Not sure what kind of knives to get, or what you REALLY need? I’ve been there. Which is why we created this guide for you!
- How to Stock Your Pantry: If you’re not sure what to stock your shelves with, and how to set yourself up for long term success.
Step #3 (BONUS): Meal Prep and Batch Cooking! This step isn’t necessary, but if your goal is to make healthy eating a habit for you and your family, batch cooking can be the difference maker!
By “batch cooking,” I simply mean setting aside time to prepare larger quantities of food at the start of the week, so that throughout the week you already have meals to eat!
And every single success story we’ve featured on Nerd Fitness ( like this one ) involved some sort of batch cooking (planning your meals for the week ahead).
- Here’s our guide on “How to start Batch Cooking and Meal Prep.”
- Let me walk you through how I batch cook chicken for the week. There’s even a video too:
Follow these rules, and you will crush it in the Healthy Eating Department  !
Healthy Recipe Results
If you are cooking for someone on a low sodium diet, use this recipe instead of taco seasoning. This recipe is the equivelant to one package of taco seasoning (or 3 tablespoons.) Adjust the strength of any ingredient to your taste. Submitted by: APRILDAWN678
This meal comes together SUPER fast! A very hearty dish that goes great with a salad. It's also versatile--add additional vegetables or even a can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans for more protein. Submitted by: FOODIEWIFE
Delicious and quick, this dish is a great way to get more fish into your healthy meal plan! We think this baked tilapia recipe can't be beat! Submitted by: RACHIELOO
This is a hearty soup that is great for the whole gang! The best part is how easy it is to make. Submitted by: GENIETEST
Our 50 Most-Popular Healthy Recipes
Looking for a few good-for-you recipes to add to your weekly rotation? Count down through the 50 healthy recipes our Food Network fans love most.
Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.
Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Armando Rafael Moutela ©FOOD NETWORK: 2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.
Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2012, Television Food Network, GP. All Rights Reserved.
Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.
Photo By: Antonis Achilleos
Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Antonis Achilleos
Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.
Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.
Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
©2012, Television Food NEtwork, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Tara Donne ©Food Network
Photo By: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.
No. 50: Herbed Chicken Marsala
Smothered in low-calorie sauteed mushrooms and sundried tomatoes, this dish is both healthy and satisfying. A little bit of butter goes a long way in the sauce &mdash just a touch adds creamy richness.
No. 49: Lemony Yogurt Pound Cake
Heart-healthy olive oil and protein-rich Greek yogurt take the place of butter in this lemony pound cake. Egg whites also help reduce calories, fat and cholesterol.
No. 48: Sloppy Joes
These meaty, cafeteria-style sloppy joes have all the flavor of the sandwich you grew up on, but they're extra-lean so you can feel good about making them for your family.
No. 47: Pan-Seared Salmon with Kale and Apple Salad
The star of this dish is the kale salad. It's crunchy, tangy and sweet!
No. 46: Ina's Lentil Vegetable Soup
Trust in Ina and her recipe for healthy Lentil Vegetable Soup. The fan-favorite has earned hundreds of 5-star reviews.
No. 45: Mixed Berries and Banana Smoothie
If you've got just 5 minutes, you've got time to blend up this nutrient-packed, 5-ingredient breakfast or snack.
No. 44: Breakfast Casserole
Healthy cooking doesn't always mean using low-fat products. The full-fat Cheddar and Parmesan together are so satisfying in this easy-to-make casserole that a little goes a long way.
No. 43: Giada's Broiled Salmon with Herb Mustard Glaze
It takes less than 20 minutes to make Giada's succulent, 5-star Broiled Salmon. Make it for dinner one night, and use the leftovers to top greens or make into salmon salad later in the week.
No. 42: Whole30 Bacon and Egg Cups
Everything you've ever craved from a diner breakfast is present in this Whole30-friendly recipe, which is easy to prepare for a crowd.
No. 41: Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos
It's impossible to resist flavorful and tender pork shoulder after it's been slowly simmered in chicken broth and aromatic spices.
No. 40: Vegetable Noodle Soup
This soup is just as good for dinner as it is for lunch -- it's warming and comforting and perfect for a rainy day.
No. 39: Angel Food Cake
Alton adds orange extract to his angel food cake for a citrusy variation on this classically low-fat dessert.
No. 38: Blueberry Compote
You only need 4 ingredients to make this sweet fruit topping. Try it over steel-cut oats or whole-wheat pancakes.
No. 37: Giada's Chicken Saltimbocca
One bite and you'll see why Giada's Chicken Saltimbocca (made with tender chicken, leafy spinach, plus salty prosciutto and Parmesan) is a 5-star fan-favorite.
No. 36: Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs
Everyone will love nutrient-rich spaghetti squash when you it like pasta with juicy meatballs and a quick homemade marinara.
No. 35: Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Sauce
Forget the chicken wings. Our healthy Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Sauce gives you all of the tangy Buffalo flavor without all the fat and calories.
No. 34: Ellie's Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli
Roast a batch of Ellie's Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli on a Sunday, and you'll find new ways to add the veggies to dishes like salads, pastas and grain bowls all week long.
No. 33: Ellie's Tuscan Vegetable Soup
Make a big batch of Ellie's comforting, veggie-packed soup and eat well all week long. It only takes 35 minutes to cook up, and clocks in at just 145 calories and 4 grams of fat per serving.
No. 32: Ellie's Three Bean and Beef Chili
The secret ingredient in Ellie's hearty beef and bean chili is bold chipotle chiles in adobo sauce.
No. 31: Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits
You won't find sticks of butter in this comfort food. Don't worry about flavor, though these shrimp are plenty zesty from the lemon and garlic.
No. 30: Oil and Vinegar Slaw
This crunchy, tangy slaw is perfect for everything from topping turkey burgers to eating alongside seared salmon.
No. 29: Quinoa Salad
Quinoa, a "new" ingredient that has been around for thousands of years, is a tiny, high-protein grain from South America. It's nicknamed the "wonder grain" because it cooks more quickly than rice, is virtually foolproof, and is lighter and more nutritious than other grains.
No. 28: Teriyaki Chicken Thighs
Fresh garlic and ginger, spicy red pepper flakes, toasted sesame seeds &mdash there's so much to love about these simple (and delicious) chicken thighs.
No. 27: Ree's Shrimp Stir-Fry
Packed with color, flavor and lean protein, Ree's Shrimp Stir Fry is a fan favorite.
No. 26: Low-Cal Fettuccine Alfredo
Smart swaps like low-fat cream cheese and milk create a version of Alfredo sauce that's still silky and rich, but with much less fat and calories than traditional versions.
No. 25: Marinated Chicken Breasts
Our Marinated Chicken Breasts are just what chicken should be: juicy, tender and oh-so-versatile. Pair them with a green salad or steamed veggies for a healthy, complete meal.
No. 24: Breakfast Burrito
Ellie's whole-wheat breakfast burritos make for a hand-held, vegetable-packed way start to your day.
No. 23: Giada's Chia Seed Pudding
Giada's creamy and sweet Chia Seed Pudding is a snap to put together. Plus, it's healthy enough to eat for a dessert, snack, or even breakfast.
No. 22: Healthified Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Who says you have to cut out cheese in order to eat healhy? This creamy, Cheddar-packed soup proves that good-for-you can be just as delicious.
No. 21: Pork Chops With Apples and Garlic Smashed Potatoes
Our pork loin chops with smashed fingerling potatoes is the perfect cozy meal to whip up on a cold night. And best yet, everything's ready in just 40 minutes.
No. 20: Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
Hasselback potatoes are whole potatoes that have been cut into a fan shape, dotted with butter, then roasted. The result is a crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside spud.
No. 19: Ina's Herb-Marinated Pork Tenderloins
Spend a couple minutes throwing together a citrusy, herbed marinade in a plastic bag, and then add pork tenderloins. Let the flavors meld for a few hours or overnight, roast them for just 15 minutes, and you'll see why Ina's lean and flavorful pork dish is a fan favorite.
No. 18: Rachael's Pasta e Fagioli
Rachael credits her grandpa for this warming low-fat recipe, a hearty mix of ditalini pasta, cannellini beans and veggies.
No. 17: Beef Stir-Fry
"The best thing about a stir-fry is that you can substitute the vegetables you like most," Trisha says.
No. 16: Gazpacho
Alton's recipe for summer in a bowl uses vine-ripened tomatoes and cucumbers for a bright, clean taste studded with flavorings like balsamic vinegar and cumin.
No. 15: Green Beans with Lemon and Garlic
Keep this recipe for garlicky, citrusy green beans in your back pocket. They go with almost anything, take just 17 minutes to make from start to finish, and clock in at only 122 calories per serving.
No. 14: Healthy Cauliflower Rice
Carb-conscious eaters everywhere have jumped on the cauliflower rice trend (and at about 1/4 of the carbohydrates of traditional rice, it's no wonder why). Once you see how easy it is to make this healthy side dish home, you'll never shell out for store-bought varieties ever again.
No. 13: Ellie's Oven "Fries"
Sate your cravings without all the fat and calories of traditional fries with Ellie's oven-baked version.
No. 12: Giada's Roman-Style Chicken
Giada's saucy, flavorful chicken is perfect for entertaining, since you can cook it ahead and simply heat it up when it's time to serve.
No. 11: Giada's Salmon Baked in Foil
Baking the salmon in foil allows it to fully soak up the lemon juice and flavor of the herbs without the need for added fats.
No. 10: Alton's Garden Vegetable Soup
Tomatoes, greens beans, leeks, carrots, corn, and potatoes. they all go into the pot to make Alton's Garden Vegetable Soup. Each serving has just 255 calories.
No. 9: American Macaroni Salad
Pile this crowd-pleaser into a bright bowl and watch it disappear it's classic cookout fare at its finest. This version uses less mayo than traditional recipes, but it has all the creaminess you crave.
No. 8: Garlic Sauteed Spinach
If you've got 10 minutes, you've got time to cook up Ina's classic lemony Sauteed Spinach.
No. 7: Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry
Marinate the chicken while you prepare the rest of the ingredients and this quick-cooking takeout classic is ready in under 30 minutes &mdash that's faster than delivery, with less sodium and fat to boot.
No. 6: Alton's Lentil Soup
Alton's nourishing 5-star soup is packed with lentil and vegetables. Plus, it clocks in at 372 calories and 8 grams of fat per serving.
No. 5: Ellie's Pork Tenderloin with Seasoned Rub
A rub made with 6 spices and seasonings you probably already have in your pantry is the key to Ellie's tender pork dish.
No. 4: Frozen Fruit Smoothies
Keep some fruit in the freezer, and chances are you'll always have on hand the ingredients you need to make this nourishing and highly-adaptable smoothie.
No. 3: Ina's Roasted Carrots
Carrots, olive oil, dill, salt and pepper: that's all you need to make Ina's fan-favorite Roasted Carrots.
No. 2: Ina's Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Ina's tender, crispy sprouts are simply roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper for a classic side that you just can't beat. One reviewer said it even won the kids over: "My kids have always hated Brussels sprouts, until I cooked this recipe. They loved it!"
No. 1: Oven-Baked Salmon
Keep this recipe in your back pocket for nights it seems you don't have time to cook dinner. It takes just 20 minutes from start to finish.