Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

Having a healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do to help your overall health. Along with physical activity, your diet is the key factor that affects your weight. Having a healthy weight for your height is important.

How can I start planning a healthy diet for me and my family?

The best way to give your body the balanced nutrition it needs is by eating a variety of nutrient-packed foods every day. Just be sure to stay within your daily calorie needs.

Focus on fruits!

Focus on fruits!

Eat a variety of fruits – whether fresh, frozen, canned or dried – rather than fruit juice for most of your fruit choices. For a 2,000 calorie diet, you will need 2 cups of fruit each day (for example, 1 small banana, 1 large orange, and 1/4 cup of dried apricots or peaches).

Vary your veggies

Vary your veggies

Eat more dark green veggies, such as broccoli, kale, and other dark leafy greens; orange veggies, such as carrots, sweetpotatoes, pumpkin, and winter squash; and beans and peas, such as pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, split peas and lentils.

Get your calcium-rich foods

Get your calcium-rich foods

Get 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free milk or an equivalent amount of low-fat yogurt or low-fat cheese (1 1/2 ounces of cheese equals one cup of milk) every day. If you don't or can't consume milk, choose lactose-free milk products or calcium-fortified foods and beverages.

Make half your grains whole

Make half your grains whole

Eat at least 3 ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta every day. One ounce is about 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of breakfast cereal, or 1/2 cup of cooked rice or pasta. Look to see that grains such as wheat, rice, oats, or corn are referred to as 'whole' in the list of ingredients.

Go lean with protein

Go lean with protein

Choose lean meats and poultry. Bake it, broil it, or grill it and vary your protein choices with more fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds.

You may also benefit by using protein supplements to meet the additional requirements for training.

Know the limits on fats, salt and sugars

Know the limits on fats, salt and sugars

Read the Nutrition Facts label on foods. Look for foods low in saturated fats and trans fats. Try as much as possible to choose and prepare foods and beverages with a little salt, sugars or sweeteners.

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