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Do you feel like you can’t keep up with the latest nutrition news because it’s always changing? While it’s true that what is known about nutrition and diet is evolving, there are some nutrition basics you can keep in mind. Mastering the nutrition basics comes down to understanding the food groups and becoming more aware of calories and the roles that specific nutrients play in a healthy diet. Want to go beyond the nutrition basics?

Talk to your doctor or a dietitian for personalized dietary advice that takes into account your health status, lifestyle, and food likes and dislikes. Do you want to adopt a healthy diet but aren’t sure where to start?

If so, be sure to follow a diet that’s low in salt, saturated fat and cholesterol, and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. For personalized advice, talk with your doctor or a dietitian.
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CHECK OUT THESE GREAT RECIPES:

Artichoke Dip

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Ingredient

  • 2 cups artichoke hearts
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 4 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 teaspoon minced thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1 cup white beans, prepared
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream

Directions

Mix all ingredients together. Put in glass or ceramic dish and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Serve with whole-grain bread, crackers or vegetables for dipping.

Crispy Potato skins

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Ingredients

  • 2 medium russet potatoes
  • Butter-flavored cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Wash the potatoes and pierce with a fork. Place in the oven and bake until the skins are crisp, about 1 hour.

Carefully — potatoes will be very hot — cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the pulp, leaving about 1/8 inch of the potato flesh attached to the skin. Save the pulp for another use.

Spray the inside of each potato skin with butter-flavored cooking spray. Press in the rosemary and pepper. Return the skins to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Fresh Fruit Kabobs

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Ingredients

For the marinad

  • 4 ounces low-fat, sugar-free lemon yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 4 to 6 pineapple chunks
  • 4 to 6 strawberries
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 banana, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 4 to 6 red grapes
  • 4 wooden skewers

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lime juice and lime zest. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Thread 1 of each fruit onto the skewer. Repeat with the other skewers until the fruit is gone. Serve with the lemon lime dip.

Fresh Tomato Crostini

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Ingredients

  • 4 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 pound crusty Italian peasant bread, cut into 4 slices and toasted

Directions

Combine tomatoes, basil, oil, garlic and pepper in a medium bowl. Cover and let stand 30 minutes. Divide tomato mixture with any juices among the toast. Serve at room temperature.

Ginger-marinated grilled portobello mushrooms

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Ingredients

  • 4 large portobello mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Directions

Clean mushrooms with a damp cloth and remove their stems. Place in a glass dish, stemless (gill) side up.

To prepare the marinade, in a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, pineapple juice and ginger. Drizzle the marinade over the mushrooms. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, turning mushrooms once.

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or broiler. Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.

Grill or broil the mushrooms on medium heat, turning often, until tender, about 5 minutes on each side. Baste with marinade to keep from drying out. Using tongs, transfer the mushrooms to a serving platter. Garnish with basil and serve immediately.

Whole Wheat Pretzel

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Ingredients

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup wheat gluten cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup baking soda (not enough to include in analysis)
  • 1 egg white or 1/4 cup egg-substitute (not enough to include in analysis)

Direction

In the bowl of a food processor, dissolve yeast, sugar, salt and warm water. Let sit 5 minutes. Add flours, olive oil and gluten. Mix by hand or in a food processor with a dough hook for 5-10 minutes, until a smooth dough forms and pulls away from bowl. Spray inside of bowl with cooking spray, so dough does not stick. Cover with plastic and place in warm place for approximately 1 hour, until doubled in size.

Punch dough down, and divide into 12 pieces. Then roll into long ropes. One at a time, make U shape with a single rope, then cross ends over and pinch in the bottom of the U shape, making the traditional pretzel shape.

Bring 8-10 cups of water to rolling boil with 1/4 cup baking soda. Add pretzels one by one and cook for 30 seconds in water. Remove with spatula to parchment-lined baking pan. Brush with egg white or egg-substitute and bake in a 450 F oven for 10-15 minutes, until dark brown.

Marinated Shrimp

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, plus lime zest as garnish
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined

Directions

In a shallow baking dish, combine the onion, lime juice, capers, mustard and hot sauce. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, add the water, vinegar, cloves and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and add the shrimp. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Drain and transfer the shrimp to the shallow dish containing the onion mixture, making sure to discard the cloves and bay leaf. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.

To serve, divide the shrimp mixture among individual small bowls and garnish each with lime zest. Serve cold.