We all know the basics for eating right and controlling our weight includes things like eating plenty of fresh produce, never skipping breakfast, and watching our portion sizes. Here are a few lesser-known tips that could help us lose weight, feel fuller faster, and get more nutrients from our food:

  • All whole grains are NOT equal. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, a lot of whole grain foods have just as much sugar and fat as the processed versions. Experts recommend choosing the purest whole-grain sources, like popcorn, unsweetened oatmeal, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta. And for cereals and breads, look for those with at least three grams of fiber and less than six grams of sugar per serving.

  • Buy frozen produce. Registered dietician Stephanie Middleberg says that the longer fresh produce sits around, the more nutrients it loses. So, if the fresh broccoli or berries were trucked across the country, frozen may be better. Because flash freezing just after harvest – when produce is at peak ripeness – preserves the nutrients.

  • Enjoy your pasta – just watch your serving sizes and cook it “al dente”. Dawn Jackson Blatner is the author of The Flexitarian Diet. She says that al dente pasta requires more chewing. And research shows that, when it comes to signaling the brain that we’re full, the length of time food is in our mouths is just as important as how much food is in our stomachs.

  • Cook more often. A study in the journal Appetite found that we eat less when we prepare our own meals. The theory is that we slow down and savor our own handiwork and are less likely to heap on the helpings. And, you don’t have to channel your inner Julia Child. Something as simple as shelling your own pistachios can cut your calorie intake by more than 40 percent.