It’s a simple concept—when you eat a healthy diet, you feel better. In our hectic lives, though, with work, family, and other obligations, it’s easy to settle for what’s cheap and easy.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate initiative will set you on the right track. Here are the food groups it recommends:
- Grains—Half of your grains should be whole.
- Vegetables—Change it up. The more colorful the better.
- Fruits—Make sure half of your plate is full of fruits and veggies.
- Dairy—Be sure to eat calcium-rich foods (speak with a dietitian to discuss calciium rich foods that are not from the dairy group).
- Protein—Leaner is better.
Tips for a Healthy Diet
Here are some small ways to make a big difference:
- Hungry at work? Munch on healthy snacks (carrots, nuts, raisins, yogurt) instead of raiding the vending machine.
- Read food labels when shopping, and try to avoid high-sodium and overly processed foods.
- Eat seasonally. Besides tasting better, foods that you grow in your own back yard, find at a farmer’s stand, or buy at your local farmers market are generally more nutrient dense. The Indiana State Department of Agriculture is a good resource to find locally grown foods.
- Drink more water. Sugary drinks may taste good, but they’re full of empty calories.
- Feeling frugal? Check out MyPlate’s Eating Healthy on a Budget.
Note: Please be sure to consult your primary care provider before starting any nutrition program or if you have existing health concerns.