10 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Nutrition

Here are Nutrition Diva's 10 easy ways to add some extra nutritional oomph to your favorite foods and meals.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
4-minute read
Episode #304

Easy Upgrade #6: Roll in the Green

Ordering from an Asian restaurant? Instead of the deep-fried egg rolls, choose lettuce rolls instead. You can also use large leaves of lettuce instead of torillas to make sandwich roll-ups or to stand in for the top slice of bread on a sandwich.

Easy Upgrade #7: Savory Your Cocktail

If you're going to have a cocktail before dinner, try a Bloody Mary instead of a cocktail made with sugary mixers. Not only will you save the sugar and calories, but you get a bonus serving of veggies! If you're not a drinker, a Virgin Mary can serve the same function. 

See also: Is Drinking Alcohol Good For You?


Easy Upgrade #8: Sideline the Fries

Casual restaurant meals often come with a huge pile of fries on the side,  because fries are cheap and filling and most people enjoy them. But most restaurants will, if you ask, substitute the vegetable of the day for the fries. Now, I'm not going to lie to you and say I never eat French fries. I do eat them occasionally. Check out my episode about a day in the life of Nutrition Diva if you don't believe me.

But about 80% of the time, I sub in a vegetable for those deep fried ...and that adds up to a lot fewer French fries in my life. 

Easy Upgrade #9: Eat Chocolate (Yes, That's Right)

If you're going to have some chocolate, choose the darkest chocolate you can enjoy. The darker the chocolate, the less sugar it contains and the more healthy flavanols. If you're someone who enjoys super dark chocolate, such as those with 70% or higher cacao, that's great. If your tastes run more to milk chocolate, you can still upgrade by choosing a slightly darker chocolate than usual. Try one with 40% cacao. Over time, you might even find that you start to enjoy darker chocolates (and your waistline will thank you).

See also: Health Benefits of Chocolate


Easy Upgrade #10: You Tell Me!

If you have a good nutritional upgrade, please post it below in Comments. We're looking for easy ways to make everyday foods and meals a little more nutritious.  I bet you have some great ideas that you'd like to share.

Whoever suggests the best upgrade wins a copy of my book Nutrition Diva's Secrets for a Healthy Diet

Upgrade and Bloody Mary images courtesy of Shutterstock.


About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show. 

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