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Luck O’ the Irish Nutrients

 

 

 

 

Whether your ancestors are from Ireland or Ibiza, you can probably get into the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day. And how do we do that? With a little Guinness and a lot of traditional holiday food – of course!

Most of us indulge on this holiday, and then feel guilty later. But, is your guilt really necessary? Probably not. As long as you’re practicing good preparation and portion-control habits, there are a lot of reasons to embrace the traditional foods that come along with this holiday.

Corned beef –Buy a lean corned beef that is marked as being “low-sodium,” trim any visible fat and boil or steam it (this will reduce the sodium content even further). But even with these steps, you’ll need to be diligent about controlling portions. As long as you take these steps, you can eliminate your need for guilt. Corned beef is a great source of protein, iron and vitamin B12.

Potatoes – Dr. Atkins waged war against the potato (and other carbs) in the 70s, and this root vegetable’s image has yet to recover. But baked and boiled potatoes contain tons of nutrients and fiber, so they’re really good for you – just don’t slather them with unhealthy condiments. Make your mashed potatoes with low-fat sour cream, skim milk and chives.

Cabbage – I don’t think anyone would call cabbage an indulgent food, but I worry that people sometimes overlook its nutritional value. Cabbage is a good source of vitamin C, fiber and potassium – and it has fewer calories and fat than any other vegetable. Boil cabbage to go along with your corned beef, but be careful not to overcook it and you’ll keep all of those great nutrients intact.

 

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