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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch
  • SWAP IT to DROP IT when eating out

  • Spring is in the air and for some families, that means a spring break trip. It’s a great opportunity for some sun, fun activities and exploration, but can be a challenge for families trying to eat healthfully at restaurants or resort buffet tables.
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  • Spring is in the air and for some families, that means a spring break trip. It’s a great opportunity for some sun, fun activities and exploration, but can be a challenge for families trying to eat healthfully at restaurants or resort buffet tables.
     
    Eating out on vacation can be a struggle to control how much you eat, as well as to find the healthful foods you usually enjoy. Research shows that when we eat out, we eat more calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt. It also shows that the more variety of food we are offered, the more we eat.
     
    Vacation is a perfect time to call on some SWAP IT to DROP IT strategies — small 100 calorie SWAPs here and there — to help make healthier choices when faced with eating out on multiple occasions. Try some of these tips:
    •SWAP the smallest plate available in place of a larger plate. A salad plate works great. You’ll load your plate with less food and naturally eat less.
     
    •SWAP at least half your plate with unsweetened fruits, salads without dressing and veggies in place of typical sides like french fries or mayonnaise-based salads. Plus, these choices have more fiber that will fill you up and you’ll eat less of the other foods.
     
    •When you find yourself at a buffet-style restaurant, set a limit on the number of times you’ll go through the line. You’ll naturally be SWAP-ing out the second helpings of extra calories.
     
    •SWAP water in place of sugar-sweetened beverages. With the exception of milk and tomato juice, we don’t recognize these added beverage calories by compensating and eating less. That means calories from beverages are added calories. If you can’t make the leap, ask the server to alternate water with your preferred beverage.
    •Slow down and enjoy your food and the table conversation. SWAP out eating quickly. Be mindful of the smell, taste and texture of the foods you’re eating.
    •Stop eating when you’re no longer hungry versus full. This SWAP will have you feeling better and ready for action versus a nap!
     
    Get inspired to make your own SWAPs at a free grocery store tour with a registered dietitian on Friday, April 25 at 1 p.m. at Schutz Family Foods, 900 Main St. W. You’ll learn how to shop with heart health in mind, get answers to your questions, and learn how to make simple food and beverage SWAPs to save calories. The tour will last approximately one hour and people should meet the dietitian at the front of the store. Recipes and tips will be provided. Advance registration is appreciated at www.heartsbeatback.org. Under the “Brown County” tab, choose “SWAP IT to DROP IT” and then click on “Tours at Schutz Family Foods.”
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    Also make SWAPs at these Sleepy Eye convenience stores supporting the SWAP IT to DROP IT campaign: Caseys, 500 Main St. E, Cenex, 509 Main St. W. and Freedom, 400 Main St. W.
     
    SWAP IT to DROP IT is a health campaign from The Heart of Brown County Project, a grant-funded initiative led by the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation in collaboration with Allina Health and Brown County Public Health.
     

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