6 Winning Food Choices

Tie: Vegetables or Vegetable Juice

Didn't expect this one, did you? Unlike sugar-packed fruit juice, low-sodium vegetable juice, like V8, has relatively few calories and is still very nutritious. It's a smart choice if you're not eating enough vegetables. It's also a healthy, antioxidant-packed alternative to a sugar-packed drink, like a typical store-bought smoothie.

Pasture-Raised Meat Over Factory Farm-Raised Meat

You don't need to be a tree hugger to prefer sustainably produced chicken and beef. Pastured chickens roam around and consume vitamin-rich bugs and grasses, so their meat has 21 percent less fat and 28 percent fewer calories than conventional chicken. Grass-fed beef, likewise, is 11 percent lower in calories than conventional beef. Plus it has 36 percent less fat and a healthier balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Fresh Fruit Over Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is nutritious, but by weight it has more than twice the calories of fresh. And because its water content is lower, you have to eat more to feel satisfied. In fact, fresh fruit beats any other fruit product, including juice. A medium orange, for example, has just 62 calories and 12 grams of sugar, along with 3 grams of belly-filling fiber. By comparison, 8 oz. of Tropicana Pure Premium OJ has 110 calories, 22 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of fiber.

(Pork) Bacon Over Turkey Bacon

Turkey is a relatively lean meat, but turkey bacon isn't 100 percent bird. It can contain up to twice as many different additives as regular bacon has. Both turkey bacon and real bacon give you a mouthful of sodium, and the difference in calories is negligible— but at least real bacon makes your kitchen smell good. Plus, it's not that indulgent—one slice has 25 calories.

Soft Cheese Over Hard Cheese

As cheese ages, it loses moisture and becomes more dense in calories and fat. To cut calories without cutting out cheese, just eat smaller amounts of aged cheese, or go with a soft variety, such as mozzarella.

Regular Peanut Butter Over Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter

Reduced-fat peanut butter might seem like an easy way to save a few calories, but the manufacturer probably took out much of the fat in the peanuts and used soy protein and corn-syrup solids. That means you're trading healthy fat for double the carbs, all to save a measly 19 calories.

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