Healthy eating is not about strict nutrition philosophies,
staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods
you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more
energy, and keeping yourself as healthy as possible –
all which can be achieved by learning some nutrition basics
and incorporating them in a way that works for you.
Choose the types of foods that improve your health
and avoid the types of foods that raise your risk for such illnesses
as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Expand your range of
healthy choices to include a wide variety of delicious foods.
Learn to use guidelines and tips for creating and maintaining
a satisfying, healthy diet.
Eat enough calories but not too many.
Maintain a balance between your calorie intake and calorie expenditure—that
is, don't eat more food than your body uses. The average recommended
daily allowance is 2,000 calories, but this depends on your
age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity.
Eat a wide variety of foods. Healthy eating
is an opportunity to expand your range of choices by trying
foods—especially vegetables, whole grains, or fruits—that
you don't normally eat.
Keep portions moderate, especially high-calorie foods.
In recent years serving sizes have ballooned, particularly in
restaurants. Choose a starter instead of an entrée, split
a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything.
Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes—foods
high in complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals,
low in fat, and free of cholesterol. Try to get fresh, local
Drink more water. Our bodies are about 75%
water. It is a vital part of a healthy diet. Water helps flush
our systems, especially the kidneys and bladder, of waste products
and toxins. A majority of Americans go through life dehydrated.
Limit sugary foods, salt, and refined-grain products.
Sugar is added to a vast array of foods. In a year, just one
daily 12-ounce can of soda (160 calories) can increase your
weight by 16 pounds. See suggestions below for limiting salt
and substituting whole grains for refined grains.
Don’t be the food police. You can enjoy
your favorite sweets and fried foods in moderation, as long
as they are an occasional part of your overall healthy diet.
Food is a great source of pleasure, and pleasure is good for
the heart – even if those French fries aren’t!
Get moving. A healthy diet improves your energy
and feelings of well-being while reducing your risk of many
diseases. Adding regular physical activity and exercise will
make any healthy eating plan work even better.
One step at a time. Establishing new food habits
is much easier if you focus on and take action on one food group
or food fact at a time