Do You Even Know How To Eat Healthy?


Let’s ask again: Do you even know how to eat healthy?

This topic is a common part of the New Year’s resolutions pack of promises! Previously we introduced you to why you exercise and we discussed how to start. Today’s Straight, No Chaser is about your diet. So many times we hear “Eat Healthy,” as if we actually know what that means. Well, today you’ll learn. Of course, whether you choose to do it is up to you!

Healthy eating Diet eat healthy

For many years, pyramids were the way nutritionists would communicate about healthy eating. In case you weren’t aware, there has been a paradigm shift. “Plates” are in. Of course, it is easier to communicate how to eat healthy in a way reflecting how we eat. For the definitive source, I return to the Harvard School of Public Health. See the picture below. (Go Crimson!)

Healthy Eating Plate

Let’s make this very simple (or should that have been “digestible”) and simply discuss the contents of your plate.

Healthy eating plate
Your “Eat Healthy” Meal Blueprint

  1. Fill half of your plate with produce—that means fruits and vegetables. The broader the variety, the better. Sorry, but potatoes and French fries don’t count as vegetables!
  2. Fill a quarter of your plate with whole grains. Whole grain foods help lower the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes. The sure way to know you’re choosing a whole grain food is simply in the name. When you’re grocery shopping, the product will actually say “whole grain.” This is not the same as multigrain.
  3. Fill the rest of your plate with a healthy source of protein such as fish, poultry, beans or nuts.
  4. You may have noticed a glass bottle in the picture. This is meant to represent a reminder to use healthy oils when cooking, on salad, and at the table. These include oils such as olive and canola. You’ll notice the absence of butter and fatty salad dressings on the plate.
  5. Regarding beverages, do yourself a favor. Try to drink water. Rediscover how refreshing it is. You don’t have to pay for another beverage just because you’re used to doing so. Tea and coffee are healthy options, if you use little or no sugar. Milk and other dairy products should be limited to one to two servings a day.

healthy eating

In additional posts, we provide a series of healthy eating and dieting tips to get you through your days. I hope you take the time to integrate this basic scheme into your eating healthy habits. If you do, you will be well on your way to a sustainable lifestyle change. Lifestyle changes, not fads, should be the basis of any diet-related New Year’s resolution!

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