The Olympics: Eat like an athlete

Are you ready for some Olympics? If so, don't be a couch potato. Snack like an athlete.

Skip the creamy dips and chips. Forget the fried fish and chips, a favorite in London, the host city.

Why not take a cue from the athletes? As more than 2,000 of them are competing, they'll rely on good nutrition to provide the energy needed to run, swim, bike and sweat through beach volleyball.

Dietitians say lean protein and moderate amounts of good carbohydrates are safe bets for snacking.

You can serve lean meats in the form of kebabs. Or choose nuts, which provide protein plus a long-lasting energy boost.

Amy Gluck, a clinical nutrition supervisor at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, says nuts are a handy, easily portable choice.

"But they should be eaten in small serving sizes because they are high in calories," the registered dietician says.

And, of course, you can't go wrong serving any kind of vegetable. At London's Olympic Village, more than 330 tons of fruit and vegetables will be served.

Gluck, 40, an Ironman triathlon competitor, says a veggie tray with hummus dip is a good idea.

"Vegetables have a lot of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals," she says. "The hummus has protein and fiber."

A substitute for hummus is a ranch dip made with no-fat Greek yogurt.

You might hear athletes talk about eating foods high in carbohydrates, such as pasta, before a big event. But, Gluck says, "excess carbohydrates will be stored as fat."

The Olympics: Eat like an athlete 07/31/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 5:30am]

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