Food swaps that are good for you and Mother Earth

Remember when Oprah shed 67 pounds in the 1980s? She's gained it back and lost it over and over again since then. Not surprising. The Cleveland Clinic points out that 80% to 95% of dieters who lose weight end up gaining it back -- and more! That's because severe reduction in calorie intake messes with your metabolism, cultivates feelings of deprivation (that you then overcompensate for) and confuses your body's signals for fullness and hunger, by disrupting the hormones leptin ("that's enough") and ghrelin ("feed me").

In place of a radical diet change, you want to embrace a lifestyle shift that you can more easily maintain. One part of that is making easy food swaps -- ketchup made without high fructose corn syrup for regular ketchup, for example.

The experts at Tufts School of Nutrition Science and Policy have other great swap ideas that boost the quality of your nutrition and reduce consumption of processed foods. 1. Cook up barley in place of white rice -- in soups, with stir-fry, and as a side dish with chicken (skinless) or fish. 2. Sprinkle your salads and side dishes with chopped nuts such as walnuts and almonds in place of croutons. 3. Use a mandolin to thin-slice apples, carrots and celery to use for crunch in place of chips.

Bonus: Stanford Medicine has ID'd food swaps that -- if everyone did them -- could lower our collective carbon footprint significantly, while they boost our health: substitute chicken, fish (salmon and sea trout) or beans for beef. Swap on!

Dr. Mike Roizen is the founder of, and Dr. Mehmet Oz is global advisor to, the world's leading online health store. Roizen and Oz are chief wellness officer emeritus at Cleveland Clinic and professor emeritus at Columbia University, respectively. Together they have written 11 New York Times bestsellers (four No. 1's).

King Features Syndicate

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