Healthy diet first step to healthy lifestyle

Aug 21, 2013 By:

It's Wellness Wednesday!

When it comes to developing a healthy lifestyle, changing your eating habits is the best place to start. Focus on using food to fuel your body to get through your day, not depriving yourself and becoming educated on how to read food labels.

So what is a healthy diet?

According to choosemyplate.gov, our diets should:

  • Emphasize vegetables, fruit, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free milk and dairy products
  • Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts
  • Limit saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars

An easy way to revamp your diet is to begin avoiding “empty calories.” As their name suggests, these foods add calories to your diet with little to no nutrients.

Empty-calorie foods include (but are not limited to):

  • Cakes, cookies, pastries and donuts
  • Soda, energy drinks, sports drinks and fruit drinks
  • Salty potato chips, French fries and crackers
  • Full-fat cheeses
  • Pizza
  • Sausages, hot dogs, bacon and ribs

A small amount of empty calories is OK on occasion; you should feel free to indulge sometimes! However, most Americans consume far too many of these foods and too few of the good, nutritious calories our bodies need to survive, which can be found in fruits, veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean meats and other proteins.

For more information, visit www.choosemyplate.gov