It’s National Nutrition Month and the National Dietetics Association has launched their annual nutrition campaign. This year’s theme is “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” which encourages personalized eating plans while following the recommended dietary guidelines.
Eating nutritious, whole foods isn’t as hard as you might imagine. Even if you are too busy to cook, find yourself in the fast-food drive-up one or two times a week, or have an aversion to vegetables, there are some small, but significant choices that you can make every day that can dramatically improve your health.
Here are 40 tips to help you eat right, your way, every day, with lots of links leading to additional information.
- Change the screensaver on your computers to a picture of healthy, delicious looking food.
- Buy a bag of apples and eat one every day.
- Substitute cut up raw vegetables for salty commercially packaged food s (ex. potato chips) that you usually eat.
- Use a smaller plate at dinner.
- Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.
- Be in the moment and practice mindful eating at every meal.
- Eat a green, leafy salad with a variety of vegetables three times each week.
- Eat plain Greek yogurt and add fresh or frozen fruit instead of buying pre-mixed yogurt and fruit products.
- Print this wallet sized portion guide and put one on the refrigerator and one on your desk at work.
- Add a teaspoon of ground flax seeds to oatmeal, cereal, and homemade muffin and bread mixes.
- Have at least one meatless main dish each week.
- Purchase and prepare a new vegetable every week until you’ve tried them all.
- Sauté foods in a conservative amount of olive oil instead of butter or margarine.
- Try a green smoothie. Even if you’re not a fan of fresh spinach, you won’t taste it but you’ll get the benefits of the nutrients.
- Put a bowl of fresh fruit in a visible spot on the counter to grab as an on-the-go snack.
- Use whole wheat flour instead of white to make pancakes, homemade muffins and breads.
- Buy nutritious sweet potatoes for baking instead of white.
- Get 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
- Get in the habit of reading food labels and focus on checking salt, sugar and fat content.
- Make extra servings of healthy main meal dishes and take them to work for lunch the next day.
- Drink eight glasses of water a day.
- Make your own smart water by adding fruit or vegetables.
- Let your children help with preparing at least one meal each week.
- Turn the TV off during meal time.
- Download the Fooducate app and find out how the foods you eat rate.
- Select dark green and purple lettuces to use in salads. The more colorful the leaf, the higher nutrition content.
- At least twice a week eat seafood that’s high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon, anchovies and bluefin tuna have the highest Omega-3 content.
- Start each day with breakfast that includes a serving of a healthy protein like almonds, eggs, or turkey sausage.
- Limit the processed foods in your diet. Packaged foods with more than five ingredients usually indicate they have been heavily processed and therefore lacking in nutrition.
- Forget the word diet and start thinking about healthy eating and living as something you do every day.
- Eliminate all sugary beverages including sodas, juices, and sweet tea and coffee drinks.
- If you drink alcohol, make red wine your beverage of choice. Red wine has a variety of antioxidants believed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Satisfy a chocolate craving with dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa. Dark chocolate is loaded with heart healthy flavanols not found in milk or white chocolate.
- Substitute hummus, a low-fat, high protein food, for high-calorie dips and spreads.
- Add the Restaurant Nutrition app to your phone so you can check out dining options ahead of time and will be prepared to make good choices when you get there.
- Next time you have a day where you make less than good choices, shake it off and move on. Every day is a new day. Don’t dwell in the past.
- Eat at least three servings of legumes every week. Many members of the legume family – black beans for example – can be added to soups and stews to provide additional fiber, nutrition and protein.
- Create your own Top 10 Superfood list that consists of your favorite nutrient dense foods. Every week eat at least one serving of every food on the list.
- Pause before each meal to make sure you’re eating the healthiest foods in the right amounts and in the right balance.
- Think about which of these tips you can incorporate long-term into your lifestyle. Pick five or six and practice them until they are a natural part of your life, then add two or three more. Keep going until you’ve mastered all 40.
What other ways are there to eat right, your way, every day? Add your nutrition tip to the comment box below. To learn more about the Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day campaign, click here to visit Eatright.org.
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