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Special Section


For your health: Eat Your Sweets & Get Slim Too!




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February 15, 2011 | 1,315 views | Post a comment

(Family Features) Weight loss is perennially one of the top New Year’s resolutions amongst Americans, but achieving this goal can be difficult when faced with strict diets and bland food. The key to weight loss is enjoying healthful meals that are tasty and sustaining. This can be an easy feat when eating nutrient dense foods like sweet potatoes.

When baked plain and allowed to caramelize naturally without the sugary toppings we’re accustomed to, sweet potatoes are a nutrition powerhouse. A medium-sized cooked sweet potato is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, a good source of fiber and only about 100 calories. Luckily, these rewarding roots are available year round with North Carolina producing nearly half of the country’s supply.

Fiber plays an important role in maintaining weight by slowing down the digestion of food. The longer it takes your food to digest, the longer you’ll stay full and the less snacking you’ll do before your next meal. This slow digestion also makes sweet potatoes a low to medium glycemic food, so even those with diabetes can enjoy a touch of natural sweetness without causing blood sugar levels to spike.

Baking sweet potatoes with the skin on at a low 375°F for 35 minutes will produce a caramelized skin with a sweet fluffy center, but if you’re short on time here are a few speedier cooking methods:

Sauté: cook and stir sliced or diced sweet potatoes in hot oil for about 10 minutes

Boil: cook 1-inch thick slices in 2 inches of boiling water for about 12 minutes

Speed-bake: cook whole sweet potatoes in microwave for 4 minutes, then bake at 450°F for 5 to 10 minutes

This recipe for guilt-free Sweet Potato Burgers is a great alternative to the typical high calorie all meat burger. For a lighter alternative, skip the bun and place the patty over a bed of greens with avocado slices and your favorite salad dressing.

For more sweet potato recipes and nutrition information, visit www.ncsweetpotatoes.com or www.sweetbytesblog.blogspot.com.
 

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