Before you sit down to eat, think about the food on your plate. Are you feeding your cravings or your body?
Eating well does not have to be a challenge. Try using these 16 health tips from Eat Right to improve your diet.
1. Balance Calories
How many calories do YOU need? Use the SuperTracker tool to estimate the number of calories you should consume everyday. How many calories are you consuming? Both overeating and undereating can lead to serious health problems.
2. Eat Slowly
Slowing down and paying attention to hunger and satiation cues will give your body more time to tell you when you have had enough food. Eating too quickly can lead to a pattern of overeating. Try putting your utensils down between bites.
3. Use Small Dishes
Oversized dishes lead to oversized portions. Eating out of small dishes will leave you feeling satiated and help you choose smaller portions of food.
4. Snack More Often
Small snacks throughout the day are easy for your body to digest and help curb hunger during mealtime. Make your snacks fruits, veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy products or nuts to maximize the nutritional value of your snack.
5. Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Veggies
Choose a variety of colored vegetables for your meals. Add fruit as a part of the main dish, side, or as a dessert. Try to maximize your consumption of fresh, uncooked fruits and veggies to maximize their nutritional value.
6. Switch to 1% or Fat-Free Milk
You will get the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients while consuming fewer calories and less fat.
7. Eat Whole Grains
Substitute whole grains for refined grains where you can. For example, eat whole grain bread as opposed to white bread.
8. Eat Less Processed Foods
Cut back on the foods you know are processed: cakes, cookies, ice cream, soda, pizza, hot dogs, fatty meats, etc. These are can be occasional treats but should not be eaten daily.
9. Choose the Low Sodium Option
Cutting back on sodium can help decrease your blood pressure which will decrease your risk for heart disease and stroke.
10. Drink Water Instead
Soda, enrgy drinks, sport drinks, and coffee drinks are a major source of empty calories and sugar in American diets. Try switching a few of these drinks every day with a glass of water to reduce your calorie consumption and sugar intake.
Find out more about each food group by visiting ChooseMyPlate.gov