GINNA PARSONS: Magazine offers tips for dieters

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

On Monday morning, I opened an e-mail from the folks at Consumer Reports that says that according to a new nationally representative poll by Consumer Reports Health, nine out of 10 Americans say their diet is healthy.
But the respondents’ answers indicate anything but that. We drink too many sugary drinks, we don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, we don’t count calories, we don’t weigh ourselves regularly and we greatly miss the mark when we self-report our weight.
The poll is part of an online hub that includes Consumer Reports’ new ratings for treadmills, ellipticals and heart rate monitors, plus a “taste-off” between Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem.
But for dieters who want to try a less drastic diet in the new year, Consumer Reports Health recommends 6 small steps for losing weight:
- Stop drinking calories: When people consume energy in beverage form, they don’t get the same fullness they get from solids. And don’t forget liquid calories in alcohol.
- Eat more protein: People who eat a higher proportion of their calories from lean protein end up consuming fewer calories overall.
- Eat more fiber: Fiber slows digestion, helping you feel fuller longer, and displacing other caloric foods. It comes in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that are loaded with vitamins and minerals.
- Lead yourself not into temptation: Consumers can’t avoid encountering irresistible high-calorie foods in their daily lives but they can keep them out of their homes.
- Add 2,000 steps a day: Twenty to 25 minutes of walking covers about a mile and will burn about 100 calories a day.
- Cut screen time: Research has shown that the more screen time people indulge in, the heavier they get.
I have made it a personal mission in 2011 to get more fruits and vegetables into my diet. Here’s a ramped-up version of steamed broccoli that contains good-for-you nuts.
Each serving has 108 calories, 5g fat, 6g protein, 15g carbs and 4g fiber.

Broccoli with Toasted Cashews
2 heads broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
14 cup toasted cashews, coarsely chopped
Coarse salt

Set a steamer basket in a saucepan with 2 inches of simmering water. Add broccoli, cover and steam just until tender, 6 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together lime juice, sugar and soy sauce until sugar dissolves. Add broccoli, season with salt and top with cashews.
Serves 4.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/ garden editor.