Tips for Starting to Eat Healthier

Enjoy the benefits of nutrition! Cooking and trying new foods and recipes can be exciting! Here are some tips to make healthy eating fun:

  • Try to start planning and cooking more if possible, rather than getting take-out.
  • Write down some healthy foods you enjoy. Think about how you could eat these more often.
  • Write down some foods you would like to learn how to cook or get help with cooking.
  • Try to eat fewer sweets and foods made of white flour and instead, add healthy protein, fresh veggies, and fruit. Choose healthier options for the foods you like; for example, replace a candy bar with a whole grain granola bar.
  • If you can, eat several smaller meals throughout the day instead of one or two large meals. This is better for your metabolism.
  • Try to only eat when you are hungry. Eat slowly so you will know when you are full. Enjoy eating the food!
  • It’s best to eat in moderation, but it is fine to have your favorite treats sometimes. If you want candy or a piece of chocolate, have a few bites along with a piece of fruit and save the rest of the candy for later.
Several boxes of cookies at a grocery store; a sign behind them reads "cookies"
Eat sweets once in a while | Photo by Elizabeth Layman
  • Read the list of ingredients on food labels. The first item on the list is always the main ingredient. Notice how much sugar, fat, fiber, and protein there is in an item. You will gradually become familiar with what is better for you.
  • If you usually eat canned or frozen food at home, try adding just one fresh veggie item to get started. Easy examples are a sliced cucumber or tomato, a baked sweet potato (much healthier than white potatoes). Read more about frozen and canned food in this post.
  • Eat a variety of colors. The different colors give you a variety of nutrients, which helps prevent illness.
  • Try to include fruits and vegetables in all of your meals and snacks or eat one big salad each day. Have at least two servings of fruit of different colors every day. One serving is about one cup of fruit. Choose whole fruit over fruit juice to ensure you get the fiber you need.
  • Reduce sodas and sweet drinks. Artificial sweeteners don’t help with weight loss. Drink water, tea, or milk instead. Sodas are bad for our bones, especially for people who don’t walk or have osteoporosis.
  • For starchy foods like bread, cereal, rice, or pasta, choose foods made with whole grains for higher fiber and more vitamins.
  • Include some protein every day, such as eggs, fish, poultry, cheese, or soy products. Milk products like yogurt are good sources of protein and calcium for stronger bones.
Several cartons of eggs, stacked on top of one another with writing on each carton that says, "One family, our farm"
Eggs are a great source of protein | Photo by Elizabeth Layman
  • Include some dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese for calcium in your diet but limit dairy products that have lots of sugar like ice cream.
  • Try to replace artificial, refined, and processed foods with healthier natural foods. Processed foods are low in nutrition.
  • Avoid foods with trans fat like French fries, potato chips, or any fried foods.
  • Try to use less sodium (salt) in your diet.
  • Take a vitamin supplement if you don’t feel you are getting enough nutrition in your diet.
  • Eat things you like but also be open to trying new foods.
  • Encourage friends and family to join you in eating healthier food!

Would you like to learn more? Check out our references listed below:

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