There are several things we can do to make healthier eating choices. Living a healthy and active lifestyle is something anyone to do. It only takes a few changes and a day-by-day commitment and approach to greatly improve your energy level, waistline, and overall health.
Eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits each day.
We all learned this one in elementary school, but how many people actually employ it in their day-to-day life? Although five servings sound like a lot, the serving sizes are actually quite small. Here is an example of what five servings might look like:
- One medium piece of fruit
- 1 cup of dried fruit
- 1 cup chopped, canned or frozen fruit
- 6 oz of 100% fruit or vegetable juice
- 1 cup chopped, canned or frozen vegetables
- 1 cup of leafy greens
- Select lean cuts of meat and trim excess fat
- Choose low-fat and fat-free dairy products
- Eat more poultry, fish and beans
Choose whole grains over processed (refined) grains and sugars.
Switching to whole grains is easier than ever with all of the options available to consumers. Choose whole-grain rice, bread, pasta and cereals. Be sure to look for whole wheat or another whole grain as the first ingredient on the label. Reduce consumption of refined carbohydrates, including pastries, sweetened cereals, soft drinks and other foods high in sugar.
Substitute healthier fats for not-so-healthy fats.
Say NO to trans fats and limit your intake of saturated fats. Healthier options include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil. Here are some tips to reduce saturated fats and cholesterol found in meats and dairy products:
Dine out the smart way and reduce portion sizes.
We all love to eat out; however, did you know that restaurant portions are frequently two to three times larger than normal, recommended portions. The next time you dine out split a meal with someone or save half of it for lunch the next day. Not only will you feel better, you will get more for your money!
When at home, stay aware of how much you are serving yourself and others, and serve appropriate portion sizes. Always avoid eating directly out of a bag or carton. One helpful tip is to serve dinner on your smaller salad plates instead of your dinner plates, and skip the seconds.