10 Healthy Eating Ideas
These 10 healthy eating ideas will help you make positive changes in your diet without having to resort to boring food. Incorporating these changes can improve your diet while leaving you feeling satisfied instead of deprived. Try one or two a week, and before long you will have developed new, healthier eating habits.
- Go whole (foods). No, not the pricey supermarket. Try to eat as many foods in their whole state as possible -- fruits and vegetables, eggs, milk, meat and fish. This will cut down on the additives and preservatives going into your body and give you greater control over food preparation. Whole foods also contain nutrients that are often missing in processed foods. The one exception? Frozen fruits and vegetables are nutritionally equivalent to their fresh counterparts, as long as they aren't drowned in sauce or sugar.
- Go veggie. If you're a meat-eater, try going vegetarian a couple of times a week. Start with once a week if meatless cooking is new to you. Try a hearty vegetable stir-fry or black bean burritos with whole-wheat tortillas. If you just can't go meatless, find meals that use meat as a flavoring agent rather than the centerpiece of the meal.
- Go against the grain. Search out whole grain breads, buns, and pastas. Whole-wheat pasta has come a long way from its chewy past. You can find whole-wheat blends that mimic the taste and texture of their white counterparts while still giving you the benefits of whole grains. Incorporate as many servings of whole grains into your diet as you can—the USDA recommends eleven daily.
- Go with the flow. Change is hard for most people, and a wholesale dietary change likely won't stick. Instead, start with manageable goals. Decide to incorporate one extra serving of fruit or vegetables into your meal each day for a week. When that's become a habit, choose another small step. This allows you to ease into the change and make it part of your routine.
- Go into the kitchen. Learning to cook is the best thing you can do to make healthy changes. Cooking your own food gives you the greatest amount of control over the amount of fat and salt, the preparation techniques, and the portion sizes. Visit the web for easy, healthy cooking ideas if you're a novice cook. Also work to makeover your favorite recipes by substituting lower fat meat, adding vegetables, or baking instead of frying.
- Go global. Try different ethnic cuisine for an adventurous take on healthy eating. Whether you go out or cook at home, trying something new can keep healthy eating interesting. Practice good judgment by choosing items that are not fried or full of fat and sugar—names like crispy, crunchy, or double-fried are good clues.
- Go to the garden (or the produce section). Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. These foods are packed with fiber and other nutrients, which help keep you fuller longer. Include them in your main dishes, eat them in salads, or snack on them. Try new produce from your farmer's market or grocery store, or search out a new way to cook an old favorite.
- Go snack. Eating several healthy snacks each day can help you maintain blood sugar levels and avoid crashing or bingeing. Keep healthy snacks such as nuts and fruit on hand—at home, in the car, in your briefcase or gym bag, in your office—to beat the midafternoon slump that too often leads to the vending machine or the coffee bar.
- Go weigh it. Be aware of your portion sizes. Most restaurant portions in America can feed two or three people, and even packaged foods often hold multiple servings. Use a tool like The Portion Size Plate to help you get a feel for how much you should be eating.
- Go to the pyramid. If you're not sure what you should be eating or how much, the USDA's My Pyramid tool is an excellent guide. Use it to develop a healthy eating plan that works for you and your family.