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Health & Spirit

Nutrition News: New Year, New You

Charlyn Fargo on

As we head into January, most of us will have grand plans for 2018 to lose weight, get fit and eat healthier. Statistics show that we're as likely to have success with these goals as trying to ski without snow.

To turn that statistic around, do a little planning and break down those goals.

What does it mean to eat healthy?

Turn to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to get started. Eating right doesn't have to be complicated -- simply begin to shift to healthier food and beverage choices.

--Emphasize fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products.

--Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.

 

--Minimize saturated fats, trans fats, salt (sodium) and added sugars

Think about calories like your bank account -- when you spend money (or calories) you want to make it count. Think nutrient-rich rather than "good" or "bad" foods. The majority of our food choices should be packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients, and lower in calories. Making smart food choices can help you stay healthy, manage your weight and be physically active.

Eat a variety of foods from all the food groups to get the nutrients your body needs. Fruits and vegetables can be fresh, frozen or canned. Specifically, eat more dark green vegetables such as leafy greens and broccoli, and orange vegetables including carrots and sweet potatoes. Try to vary protein choices with more fish, beans and peas. And eat at least 3 ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day -- don't skip the carbs.

When it comes to fats, to help reduce the risk of heart disease, look for foods low in saturated fat and trans fat. Most of the fats you eat should be monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils. It's also important to add foods high in omega 3s, such as salmon, flax or chia, walnuts and other nuts.

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