• Choose brown rice instead of white. Though both are high in carbs (25 grams per half-cup), brown rice has three times the fiber and is rich in B vitamins.


  • Opt for whole-grain breads, pasta, and cereals. High in fiber, iron, and B vitamins, whole-grain foods recently received a health claim from the Food and Drug Administration for helping to reduce the risk of heart disease.


  • Go for sweet potatoes. They’re high in complex carbs just like regular potatoes, but contain four times the beta-carotene, and are rich in vitamin E and fiber.


  • Pick whole fruits rather than fruit juice. An orange has six times the fiber of a 4-ounce glass of OJ.


  • Preplan your snacks. Nosh moderately on nuts, low-fat cheese, hummus spread (a great source of monounsaturated fat and lean protein), and whole-grain pretzels, tortillas, or crackers. Add some veggies, such as grape tomatoes, which are rich in cancer-fighting lycopene and vitamin C.

—J.R.L.

Sources: Lundberg Rice Company, Harvard Medical School (www.med.harvard.edu), CNN.com, HealthAtoZ.com.