5 Steps to A Healthier Diet

You may be one of the 95%?of Americans who don’t often follow the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations. Now is the time to jump-start a healthier diet - and here are 5 easy steps to send you on your way!
1. Buy and eat more fruit during the day. Start with breakfast and include fruit for your snacks and dessert.
2. Start your day with a MyPlate breakfast - use a whole grain cereal, skim milk or yogurt and fresh fruit. If you don’t have time you can pack these items to take with you for a good start on your day.
3. Eat a big salad for lunch or dinner or both!?Make a large low-fat salad the centerpiece of your meal at least once a day. Low-in-fat means that the salad is made mostly of vegetables and topped with vinegar or lowfat salad dressing. Keep fattier ingredients like egg yolks, cheese, croutons and oil to a minimum if at all. Nuts add crunch and are a better alternative to croutons and cheese - but use sparingly.
4. Include more heart-healthy protein options in your meals. Dried legumes like beans and lentils should be part of your diet every week. Fish also makes a good option when it is baked, broiled or grilled. Egg whites and chicken or turkey breast, without skin, are naturally low in fat.
5. Start getting enough milk and yogurt. MyPlate and the Dietary Guidelines both call for at least 3 cups per day for most individuals.
FMI visit www.health.gov.

Healthy Shopping Must Haves:
_______ Dark green lettuce
_______ Variety of veggies for salads
_______  Fresh veggies in season
_______  Frozen veggies
_______  Low-sodium pasta sauce
_______ Bananas
_______ Apples, pears
_______ Tangerines
_______ Other fresh fruits in season

_______ Brown rice
_______ Whole grain pasta
_______ Oatmeal
_______ Whole grain cereal
_______ Whole wheat bread or pita

_______ Skim milk
_______ Nonfat light yogurt

_______ Fish (nonbreaded)
_______ Nuts
_______ Lentils
_______ Split peas
_______ Dried beans (or no-salt canned)

“More than 90 million Americans are affected by chronic diseases and conditions that compromise their quality of life and well-being. Overweight and obesity, which are risk factors for diabetes and other chronic diseases, are more common than ever before. To correct this problem, many Americans must make significant changes in their eating habits and lifestyles.” – Dietary Guidelines Secretaries

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