5 Ways to Eat Healthier Today
When it comes to improving our diets, it's always easier to start after the next latte-and-muffin breakfast. But you can start eating healthier today with these simple steps that can lead to a lifetime of healthier tomorrows.
- Drink More Water: Downing a few more cups of water each day is probably the easiest step to improving your diet, and one that brings a whole slew of benefits: Water helps remove toxins from your organs, carries nutrients throughout your body, and keeps your nose and throat moist. At minimum, strive for eight, 8-oz. glasses each day.
- Practice Portion Control: Less can be more when it comes to filling your plate. You can keep track of portion sizes with simple visual references for the right amouts of each food group. A serving of carbohydrates, like a small bowl of whole grain pasta, is about the size of a hockey puck, and a serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards. Serve yourself these modest portions, and try using smaller plates so that moderate portions still look ample. And remember that it takes 15 minutes or more for your brain to receive the signal that the body has been fed, so give yourself a few minutes before you head back for seconds.
- Eat at Home: Restaurants tend to use full-fat products and delicious ingredients like salt and sugar liberally, but at home you have full control of what goes into your meal and can opt for healthier alternatives. Consider olive oil instead of butter, or low-fat milk or mayonnaise instead of their full-fat counterparts. Plus, when you eat in, you can ensure you and your family are getting a balanced meal with all the food groups.
- Embrace Those Fruits and Veggies: Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are keys to a healthy diet, and yet half of Americans don't eat enough of them on a daily basis. Fruits and veggies contain fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and can help to reduce risk for heart disease, stroke and some cancer. Also they're delicious. Adults should eat at least 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit a day, and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables. Try adding fruits and veggies to your meals, or have a healthy smoothie!
- Plan Ahead: When we're hungry, we tend to eat what’s ready to grab what's handy (hello, condiments). Convenience itself isn’t a problem, but choosing convenience over healthfulness can be. So stock up on healthy snacks, and prep food ahead of time so that the right choices are just as convenient as the wrong ones. Chop and prewash produce like carrots and grapes, and stock your fridge with lean, no-wait proteins like mozzarella sticks or hummus.
The best changes are the ones that last. Set yourself up for success by making a few small changes at first, and gradually other improvements over time. Remember, every small step you take towards a healthier diet today can have a significant, long-term impact on your overall health.
Third-party references and links provided in this article are for educational purposes only. No sponsorship or endorsement is implied. Information was used from the National Institutes of Health, the Mayo Clinic and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
© Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2017