A healthy lifestyle involves many decisions. Among them, choosing a diet or balanced eating plan. So how is a healthy eating plan chosen? Let’s start by defining what a healthy eating plan.According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a healthy eating plan takes into account the following:
Stresses the importance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk and milk products nonfat or low-fat
It contains little saturated fat, trans fat cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars
Stays within your daily calorie needs
Eat healthfully and enjoy your meals!
A healthy eating plan for weight management includes a variety of foods that you may not have considered. If the “healthy eating” makes you think about the foods you can not eat, try to concentrate on all the new foods you can eat:
Fresh fruits: think not only apples and bananas. Those are great choices, but also try some “exotic” fruits. How about a mango? Or a juicy pineapple or kiwi! When it is the season of your favorite fresh fruit, you can try the frozen versions, canned or dried fresh fruits you like. One caution about canned fruits is that they can contain additional sugars or syrups. Be sure to choose varieties of fruits that are packed in water or their own juice.
Fresh vegetables: try something new. You may find that you like grilled vegetables or steamed seasoned with herbs that have not tried, like rosemary. You can saute vegetables in a nonstick pan with a little cooking spray. Or try frozen or canned for making a quick side dish vegetables only need to warm in the microwave and serve. When testing canned vegetables, look for those that come without added salt, no butter or cream sauces. Commit yourself to go to the produce section and try a new vegetable a week.
Calcium-rich foods: might automatically think of a glass of low fat milk or fat when someone says you should “eat more dairy products.” But what about low-fat yogurt and fat that do not contain added sugars? These come in a wide variety of flavors and can be an excellent substitute for the desserts for those who love sweets.
The new version of an old acquaintance: if your favorite recipe leads breaded chicken or fried fish, try cooking in the oven or grill for healthier variations. Maybe even you can try a recipe that takes dried beans instead of meat with high fat content. Ask around or search the internet and magazines about recipes that contain less calories, you may be surprised to find you have a new favorite dish!
Check out these healthy eating plans and see what you can eat!
The Meal Pyramid Plan is based on the approximate number of calories your body needs according to their age, sex, height, weight and activity level. The plan gives the quantities you should eat daily from the various food groups to meet the goal of calories consumed.
The DASH eating plan was originally created as a diet plan to reduce hypertension. (DASH stands, for its acronym in English, “dietary approaches to eliminate hypertension”). However, the plan is also a healthy way to eat for those with no hypertension problems.
No matter which of these plans you will choose, find recommendations on healthy foods that you can enjoy.
Do I have to give up my favorite comfort food?
No! A healthy diet is based on balance. You can enjoy your favorite foods but they are high in calories, fat or added sugars. The key is to eat them only occasionally and balance them with healthier foods and more physical activity.
The key is to be consistent and always make healthy choices in your diet. If you always choose healthy options, over time you can have better eating habits. To think more positively and focus on foods you can eat, you will help yourself establish healthy eating habits.