One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to develop more healthy habits, such as joining a gym or eating more nutritious meals. If you desire to eat healthier in the coming year, the United States Department of Agriculture has given you a great head start with their Healthy Eating Tips website. Below are some of their suggestions to start a healthier diet.
- Make sure at least 50% of your grains are whole grains. One way to reach this goal is to start out by swapping white rice, pasta, and flour for brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and buckwheat flour. Doing this will also add some much-needed fiber to your diet.
- Eat a wide variety of vegetables. While you are encouraged to explore fresh seasonal vegetables, canned vegetables are fine as well if you stick to the low sodium varieties. Frozen vegetables are also nutritious.
- Eat more fruit. Fruit can be a great addition to your morning cereal or yogurt, a side dish at lunch, and healthy sweet treat after dinner. You can even get your fruit servings in with fruit juice, as long as the bottle is specifically labeled as “100% fruit juice” with no additives.
- Don’t forget your calcium. Low-fat and fat-free milk and yogurt are a wonderful source of potassium. All milks and most yogurts are also fortified with vitamin D.
- Stick with lean proteins. The majority of individuals over the age of 9 should eat 5 to 7 ounces of protein each day. This can be healthily obtained from lean cuts of beef, boneless skinless chicken breasts, eggs, beans, tofu, nuts, and seeds. It is recommended you derive some protein from seafood at least twice per week; especially good choices are those low in mercury but high in healthy oils, such as trout, herring, and salmon.