Healthy eating is
important for your health and for the health of your
family. Gather some healthy eating tips here and
being a healthier lifestyle today.
Smart Tips For Healthy
(ARA) - Food can make you
healthier -- if you make good choices. It can seem hard to make healthy food
choices, particularly if you are on a budget and short on time. But there are
some simple steps you can take to help you and your family eat healthier.
Build a Healthier Plate
Use a grocery list when shopping for food to help you choose more fresh
vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Buy leaner meats (such as chicken, turkey,
and lean cuts of pork or beef such as sirloin or chuck roast) and lower fat
dairy products like low-fat or non-fat (skim) milk and yogurt. Buy whole grain
breads and cereals. Save money by buying less soda, sweets and chips or other
snack foods. Remember that special “dietetic” or “diabetic” foods often cost
extra money and may not be much healthier than simply following the suggestions
Also, watch the size of
your portions. You may find that you are used to eating portions that count as
two or more servings. It helps to be able to “eyeball” portion sizes. Here are
* Meat, fish, and poultry: 3 ounces, or about the size of the palm of your hand
or a deck of cards.
* Cheese: 1 ounce, or about the size of your thumb.
* Fresh vegetables, milk and yogurt: 1 cup, or about the size of a tennis ball.
* Bread: one slice.
Easy Ways to Make Smart Food Choices
There are lots of ways you can make smart choices about your own and your
family's eating habits. According to Ann Albright, PhD, RD, president, Health
Care and Education of the American Diabetes Association, “One of the most
important things you can do to start eating more healthfully is to pick one or
two not-so great items you eat frequently and find a more nutritious
substitution for those. If you start with foods you eat more frequently, then
the change will pack a bigger punch.”
* Set aside some time to plan your weekly meals. It may seem like a hassle at
first, but having a plan (and writing your grocery list with it in mind) can
save you time, stress, and a lot of extra trips to the store.
* Stock your pantry with plenty of healthy basics, including brown rice, whole
grain pasta, crackers and cereals. Remember that fresh fruits and vegetables are
usually healthier than canned or frozen, but it is better to have canned or
frozen fruits or vegetables than none at all! When you run out, put the items on
your grocery list so you’ll always have them on hand.
* Shop only from your grocery list. Avoid aisles that contain foods high in
calories but low in vitamins and minerals such as candy, cookies, chips and
sodas. Also avoid buying items promoted at the front of the store, on the
“end-cap” displays at the end of each aisle, or at the cash register. These
foods are usually low in nutrition. Never shop when you are hungry and might be
tempted by less healthy food.
* Keep fruits and vegetables washed and cut up for easy snacking and steaming.
* Canned and frozen vegetables and fruits are healthful, quick and convenient.
To cut down on the sodium in vegetables, drain and rinse canned vegetables with
water before heating them You can do the same to cut down on the added sugar in
canned fruits. Better yet, buy them packed in juice.
* Learn how to “Create Your Plate.” When serving a meal, draw an imaginary line
down the middle of your plate and another one across. Fill half of your plate
with leafy greens and other vegetables. Fill one quarter with grains, like whole
grain bread or pasta or brown rice. Then fill the last quarter with lean protein
such as chicken or fish.
* Start meals with a salad or a broth or tomato-based soup with lots of
vegetables. This helps you eat more good-for-you veggies while filling you up
before you get to the higher fat and calorie courses.
Make healthy snack foods easy to find in your kitchen. For example, when you get
home from work or school, put some fresh carrots, grapes, or pretzels out on the
counter instead of having bags of chips out.
* In restaurants, ask if meats can be grilled rather than fried, and request
sauces and dressings on the side. Remember to choose fruit, salad, or other
vegetables as side items, rather than French fries. Order a salad or soup to
start and then share an entrée. Save money, and lots of calories, by skipping
Learn more about healthy eating and how it can help lower your risk for type 2
diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Visit CheckUpAmerica.org or contact the
American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or AskADA@diabetes.org.
By following these healthy eating tips you and your family can lead a healthier
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