Q: How can you build healthier eating habits?
A: What you eat and drink impacts your health. A balanced, nutrient dense and healthy diet can help you reach health goals, maintain a healthy weight, and reduce the risk of disease
Knowing what and how much to eat can be overwhelming. Establishing a healthy eating plan will not only help you reach and maintain your health goals, but will make meal planning and preparation easier. A healthy diet generally includes:
- fresh fruits and vegetables
- whole grains
- fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
- proteins (seafood, lean meats, poultry, eggs, legumes, soy products, nuts, or seeds.)
A healthy diet should also be low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium. It also should be limited in caffeine, alcohol, and added sugars.
Each person has different dietary needs. It is important to consult with your health care provider to determine a dietary plan that is right for you. This may include determining your caloric intake.
The U.S. Departmant of Agriculture (USDA) has developed a helpful tool called MyPlate Plan https://www.myplate.gov/myplate-plan. Once you determine your recommended calorie allowance, this can further help you determine what and how much to eat from the different food groups.
Mindset is key factor in maintaining a healthy diet. Knowing that you are making choices that will keep you healthy and prevent disease is a huge motivator. Additionally, focusing on what you can eat versus what you shouldn’t eat, will help you enjoy a healthy diet. Choosing food that factors in your budget and personal preferences will make it easier to stick to your plan!