Wanting to eat healthy isn’t the same thing as actually doing it. How many people set out to eat better at the beginning of each year, yet find themselves with the same goal in December of the following year? To achieve results you need a solid plan. In this healthy food guide, we’ll give you some tips for building a list of healthy foods, how to eat from a variety of food groups and why slow changes are best.
Your Healthy Food List
Here is a sample list of food categories and the types of foods within each category you should choose for optimum health:
- Vegetables: Green, leafy vegetables – particularly spinach – are great for your health. That said, all of us can benefit from the inclusion of more vegetables no matter their color.
- Fruits: Try to incorporate several servings of whole, fresh fruit into your diet. Canned fruits contain added sugar and some of their nutrients have been lost in their processing.
- Meats: If you can, try to incorporate several servings of Omega-3 rich salmon in your menu each week. Low fat meats like turkey and chicken are also smart choices.
- Fats: Olive oil and vegetable oil are better for your health than saturated fats like butter. Take steps to slowly move toward cooking with oils and your heart will thank you.
Moderation is Key
Even though whole grains are healthy, if that’s all you eat you’re not likely to achieve optimum health. For best results, eat from a wide variety of food categories. Each day strive to have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, high quality protein (fish, if you can), whole grains and dairy. A varied diet will ensure that you maximize your vitamin and fiber intake.
Simple, Easy Changes
Instead of vowing to eliminate all processed foods and eat only organic, make small changes. If you make one small change every week over time you’ll revamp the way you eat. For example, the first week begin by incorporating some kind of fruit at breakfast. This could be berries on your cereal or a glass of orange juice. The following week, eat only whole grains at dinner. So instead of bread made from refined flour, make your own biscuits from a whole grain mix or opt for wild rice.
By making simple changes over time and eating from a variety of food types you’ll find that you’re eating better than you ever have – and without strenuous effort.