Zonya Foco is a registered dietitian and author of Lickety-Split Meals: For Health Conscious People on the Go! Zonya talks with Bob about the importance of reading food labels and shares advice on how to cut certain foods from your diet.
Zonya says that cooking healthy meals can be a quick process—in fact, she says she has developed recipes that can be made in 30 minutes, 10 minutes and even one minute! "I love to cook for about 10 minutes—I am a lickety-split queen," she says. "I think that to get dinner on the table in no to time at all, that is the idea."
Zonya says nutritious cooking starts at the grocery store, and while some foods may seem healthy, you have to read the labels before you buy. Here are some ingredients that Zonya says you need to pay attention to when grocery shopping:
Sodium: From spaghetti sauce to prepackaged, flavored rice mixes, high levels of sodium can hide in unsuspecting places, Zonya says. High amounts of salt can affect blood pressure and heart health, among other things. "One thing a lot of people do not know is that [sodium] is drying to our bones—so it is implicated in osteoporosis," she says. Zonya says simply looking at labels and selecting low-sodium foods will help you stay healthy.
Milk: Try eliminating whole milk, Zonya says. If you can replace whole milk with 1 percent milk, you are doing yourself a favor, since the fat grams are dramatically reduced, she says. Even better would be replacing milk with soy or skim milk. "There is more calcium in skim milk [than whole] because the fat is not in there taking up space," she says.
Trans fats: Zonya says that trans fats should be eliminated from your diet. Even if you buy foods that say they're trans fat free, she says that food could still contain small amounts of trans fats and may have a lot of saturated fat and calories. Zonya also says foods that have replaced trans fats with palm kernel oil, such as donuts, now actually pack in more total fat per serving. "Palm kernel oil is a naturally high saturated fat," she says. "The donut went from having 19 grams of total fat to now having 26 grams of total fat, [even though] it is trans fat free."