1. Know what a healthy plate looks like- You probably remember the food guide pyramid, the USDA unveiled a simpler way to help people see what to eat each day. It's called MyPlate. This simple graphic shows exactly how the 5 food groups should stack on your plate. These 5 food groups are the building blocks for a healthy diet.
- Lean Protein (lean meats, seafood, eggs, beans)
- Fruits and Vegetables (think orange, red, green and purple)
- Whole Grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta)
- Low-fat dairy (milk and it's alternatives)
3. Use recommended servings- It is important to eat the right amount of food for your body to maintain a healthy weight. Too much of anything is unhealthy, moderation in all things leads to a healthy balanced diet. Serving size, (for packaged foods), can be located on the top of the food label. Becoming familiar with serving size portions can make this very manageable. A great way to stay on track, is to compare portion sizing to familiar objects. This makes for a quick reference to ensure proper food portions and nutrient intake.
4. Read nutrition facts labels- Nutrition fact labels are a useful way to understand what is in your food. They can seem overwhelming, but learning key points can make this tool useful and reliable.
- Fewer ingredients the better- the healthiest foods are whole (less ingredients means less processed)
- Fat and added sugar content- (< 5)
- (lower # the better)
- Fiber, vitamins, and protein- (> 25)
- (aim for a higher #)
With a little effort healthy eating can become habitual. Start small and don't give up, it really can be as simple as you make it!!
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