|Posted by email@example.com on May 1, 2021 at 3:30 PM|
By: Laurice Howell, DrPh., RDN, LD
Healthy eating should not be exhausting or an occasional act. You can make a conscious decision to choose healthy foods every day, and once this habit is established it becomes automatic.
Start by being a label reader. Look for foods low in salt, sugar, and saturated fat. A high intake of salt, sugar and saturated fat is associated with poor health. Packaged foods are generally high in these ingredients, that is why it is important to read labels so you can learn which packaged foods are healthier choices.
Processed foods and convenient meals such as frozen dinners are sodium laden. Instant food products such as instant grits and cereals are also extremely high in sodium. Choose foods with sodium 140mg or less.
Determine how many teaspoons of sugar are in a packaged product. To do this divide the grams of sugar by 4. For example, if a food package states 12 grams of sugar it would have three teaspoons of sugar. Also, look at the ingredient list, if the first, second, or third ingredient is sugar, the product is high in sugar. Look for products with lower sugar content and purchase food packed in their juice.
Foods that are high in saturated fats include red meats, dairy, butter, ice cream and baked goods, limit use of these foods. Avoid foods with partially hydrogenated oils, these contain unhealthy trans-fat. You can find this information by reading the ingredient list. Use healthy fats in moderation. Healthy fats include olive oil, soy, corn oil, sunflower, and peanut oil.
Eating healthy also means eating more fruits and vegetables. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Go for fresh fruits and vegetables. If you cannot find fresh fruits and vegetables look for canned or packaged fruits and vegetables that are low in salt, sugar, and fat. Limit the use of refined grains. Go for whole grains such as barley, wheat, oats, brown rice. Make ¼ of your plate whole grains.
For protein foods include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, nuts, quinoa. Limit red meats and avoid or limit processed meats such as bacon and sausage. Make ¼ of your plate protein foods.
Keep yourself hydrated by drinking enough fluids throughout the day. Try drinking two 8oz cups of water before each meal. This will keep you hydrated and make you eat less. Skip sugar drinks and limit juices to two serving per day.
When cooking your meals cook mostly baked, broiled, steamed, boiled, or roasted foods. Limit frying to cut down on calories. Remember, you can form a habit of choosing healthier foods. This will do your body good.