Here we are four weeks into the New Year. Did you make any resolutions? How is it going? Many people make “eating healthy” a priority but sometimes get tripped up by the abundance of tempting “less-than-healthy” options that surround us. Follow these general suggestions for a fresh start. Make every bite count. Eat healthy foods from these basic food groups: fruits and vegetables, grains, meat and beans and milk. Limit saturated fats, trans-fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt and alcohol. This will provide a balanced diet.
Choose healthy foods: Eat about two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables a day (based on a 2000-calorie-a-day diet). Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, including dark green, orange and starchy, other vegetables such as beans and peas; and all different colors of fruit. Eat at least three ounces of whole-grain foods every day. One slice of bread equals one ounce. Cut back on breads and cereals that are not made from whole grains. Get three cups a day of fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products. If you do not drink milk, eat other calcium-rich foods. These include lactose-free dairy products; calcium-fortified juice, cereal,and soy milk.
Pick your fats. No more than 20-35 percent of your calories should come from fat (and only 10 percent from saturated fat). Fish, nuts and olive oil are all good sources of fats. Choose low-fat meat, poultry and milk products. Read labels. Look for foods low in saturated and trans-fats.
Choose fiber-rich carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains which are all healthy “carbs.” Eat fewer foods and beverages with added sugar. Check beverage labels for sugar content.
Cut back on sodium and load up on potassium. Cut back on salt. Eat no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium (1 teaspoon of salt) a day. Choose and prepare foods with little salt. Eat potassium-rich foods such as sweet potatoes, tomatoes, bananas and prunes.
Remember, food powers our brain, body and spirit. Would you like some individual help with food choices? The Student Health Center has a Registered Dietician who can meet with you. To register for upcoming Weight Loss classes or for more information on the Nutrition Nuggets Health Eating Series contact Karen Fiorenza at x0348 or email HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” email@example.com.