Making healthy food choices can be easy when you have the right tools. Not to mention, good nutrition can help you prevent diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. Staying healthy is important to your life-long health and wellness and it also helps you be a good roll model for the next generation. Below are some simple tips and resources, courtesy of choosemyplate.gov, to help you get and stay on the right, nutrition track.
Build a healthy plate
Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your cup or bowl. Foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein foods contain the nutrients you need without too many calories. Try some of these options.
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Switch to skim or 1% milk.
- Make at least half your grains whole.
- Vary your protein food choices.
- Keep your food safe to eat - learn more at www.FoodSafety.gov.
Cut back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars, and salt
Many people eat foods with too much solid fats, added sugars, and salt (sodium). Added sugars and fats load foods with extra calories you don't need. Too much sodium may increase your blood pressure.
- Choose foods and drinks with little or no added sugars.
- Look out for salt (sodium) in foods you buy - it all adds up.
- Eat fewer foods that are high in solid fats.
Eat the right amount of calories for you
Everyone has a personal calorie limit. Staying within yours can help you get to or maintain a healthy weight. People who are successful at managing their weight have found ways to keep track of how much they eat in a day, even if they don't count every calorie.
- Enjoy your food, but eat less.
- Cook more often at home, where you are in control of what's in your food.
- When eating out, choose lower calorie menu options.
- Write down what you eat to keep track of how much you eat.
- If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so sensibly - limit to 1 drink a day for women or to 2 drinks a day for men.