1. Experts agree the key to healthy eating is time-tested advice of valance, variety and moderation. In short, that means eating a wide variety of foods without getting too many calories or too much of any one nutrient. These 10 tips can help you follow that advice while still enjoying the foods you eat.
2. Eat a variety of nutrient rich foods. You need more than 40 different nutrients for good health, and no single food supplies them all. Your daily food selection should include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and meat. poultry, fish and other proteins. How much you should eat depends on your calorie needs. Use the food guide and nutrition facts panel on the food labels as a handy reference.
3. Enjoy plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Surveys show most Americans’s don’t eat enough of these foods. Do you eat 6-11 servings from the bread, rice, pasta and cereal group. 3 of which should be whole grains? Do you eat 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables? If you don;t enjoy some of these at first, give them another chance. Look through cookbooks for tasty ways to prepare unfamiliar foods.
4. Maintain a healthy weight. The weight that’s right for you depends on many factors including your sex, height, age and hereditary. Excess body fat increases your chance for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some types of cancer and other illnesses. But being too think can increase your risk for osteoporosis, menstrual irregularities and other health problems. If you’re constantly losing and regaining weight, a registered dietitian can help you develop sensible eating habits for successful weight management. Regular exercise is also important to managing a healthy weight.
5. Eat moderate portions. If you keep portion sizes reasonable, it;s easier to eat the foods you want and stay healthy. Did you know the recommended serving of cooked meat is 3 ounces, similar in size to a deck of cards? A medium piece of fruit is 1 serving and a cup of pasta equals 2 servings. A pint of ice cream contains 4 servings.
6. Eat regular meals/ Skipping meals can lead to out of control hunger, often resulting in overeating. When you’re very hungry, its also tempting to forget about good nutrition. Snaking between means can help curb hunger, but don’t eat so much your snack becomes an entire meal.
7. Reduce, don’t eliminate certain foods. Most people eat for pleasure as well as nutrition. If your favorite foods are high in fat, salt or sugar, the key is moderation of how much of these foods you eat and how often. Identify major sources of these ingredients in your diet and make changes. Adults who eat high fat meals or drink whole milk at every meal are probably eating to much fat. Choosing skim or low fat dairy products and lean cuts of meat such as flank steak and beef round can reduce fat intake significantly.
8. Balance your food choices over time. Not every food has to be perfect. When eating a food high in fat, sugar or salt, select foods that are low in these ingredients. If you miss out on any food group one day, make up for it on the next. Your food choices over several days should fir together in a healthy pattern.
9. Know your diet pitfalls. To improve your eating habits, you first have to know what’s wrong with them. Write down everything you eat for three days. Then check your list according to the rest of these tips. Do you eat a lot of butter, creamy sauces or salad dressing? Rather than eliminating these foods, just cut back on your portions. Are you getting enough fruits and vegetables? If not, you may be missing out on vital nutrients.
10. Make changes gradually. There are no easy answers to a healthy diet, don’t expect to totally revamp your eating habits overnight. Changing too much , too fast can get in the way of success. Begin to remedy excesses or deficiencies with modest changes that can bring about a positive lifelong healthy eating routine.