Keep favorites, but be creative and trim extras


Improving our eating habits just isn't that easy.

The pressure is on to get the job done, what with the relationship between food, overweight and most chronic diseases. And yet . . .

Our lives are so busy, there's so much to do.

A recent study by the American Dietetic Association showed that people think healthy eating is really important, but weren't doing all they could for three very important reasons. They thought eating well was too complicated, took too much time, and required them to give up their favorite foods.

Not so! Changes are going on all around town that make it easier than ever to eat more healthfully without big habit changes.

Let's say you just can't live without stopping at Dunkin' Donuts in the morning, because you're won't make breakfast at home. Great. Stick with your habit. But, discover they offer orange juice and lowfat milk. Pair them with any one donut, or even one of their lowfat muffins and you have a meal reasonable in calories and fat that offers a healthy dose of calcium, vitamins A & D, lots of B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, iron and protein. True, there's not much fiber there, but you can make that up with fruits and vegetables at your other meals.

And if you're in the habit of eating cold cut sandwiches, check out the new Oscar Mayer Light and Fat Free deli meats. These work especially well for guys who like lots of meat on a sandwich, but really need to cut calories and fat for weight control, or cholesterol management.

Look at the savings you get: One Slice Oscar Mayer Bologna -- 90 calories, 8 gm fat, 3 gm protein; One Slice Oscar Mayer Light Bologna -- 50 calories, 4 gm fat, 3 gm protein; One Slice Oscar Mayer Free Bologna -- 35 calories, 0 gm fat, 3 gm protein.

If you miss the taste of the real thing, use one slice of regular bologna and several slices of fat-free. Then make up some of your fiber by using whole-wheat bread, plenty of lettuce and tomatoes, and some hot and spicy mustard. Add one slice of cheese and finish with a piece of fresh fruit and you're within healthy guidelines for a substantial lunch to fuel your afternoon.

If "Drive Thru" dinners are your reward at the end of a tough day, check out Taco Bell's new Border Lights. They're lower in calories and reduced in fat by as much as 30 percent from the originals. Savings are achieved by using lean beef, light or fat free Cheddar cheese, light beans, lowfat flour tortillas, fat-free sour cream and reduced fat guacamole.

It's all still big, and sloppy and fun to eat. Tastes pretty good, too. Feel free to pour on the hot sauce.

Although these items have all been calorie and fat reduced, the Taco Salad is still hefty in both departments. So use a little care in fitting it into your healthy eating day. Add a salad or a handful of raw veggies and a piece of fresh fruit to make a complete meal out of these Border Lights. Taco -- 140 calories, 5 gm fat; Taco Supreme -- 160 calories, 5 gm fat; Soft Taco -- 180 calories, 5 gm fat; Soft Taco Supreme -- 200 calories, 5 gm fat; Bean Burrito -- 340 calories, 6 gm fat; Taco Salad -- 680 calories, 25 gm fat. Ole!

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