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How can I eat better?

Dr. Edward Phillips
Physical Therapy Specialist

Check the following healthy eating recommendations:

Fats and sweets:

  • Use olive, soy, corn, sunflower, and peanut oils.
  • Limit saturated fats and avoid trans fats, substituting healthier fats instead.
  • Limit sweets.

Dairy products:

  • Eat one to two servings per day of low-fat dairy products, or take a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement.

Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, and legumes:

  • Eat one to three servings of nuts and legumes per day.
  • Eat up to two servings of fish, poultry, or eggs per day.
  • Choose vegetable sources of protein, such as nuts and beans, more often than animal sources, such as red meat and dairy products.

Vegetables and fruits:

  • Eat two to three servings of fruit per day.
  • Eat vegetables in abundance.
  • Aim for nine servings a day of fruit and vegetables; seek variety.

Bread, cereal, pasta, and rice:

  • Eat whole grains and whole-grain products liberally.
  • Limit potatoes and refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, and refined-grain pasta.

Alcohol:

  • Use in moderation if you enjoy it, as long as you have no health problems or conditions that would dictate otherwise.

Vitamins:

  • Take a multivitamin daily.

You can change the way you are eating today with your next meal. You can start to improve your overall health as easily as buying different food when you go grocery shopping. Here are basic ways to improve your current diet:

  • Start every day with a piece of fruit;  it sets the tone for how you’ll eat for the rest of the day.
  • Make sure you eat fish at least once a week. This can be anything from omega-3 rich salmon to lower fat tilapia, grouper or snapper. Remember that shrimp, crab and lobster have more cholesterol.
  • Eat more vegetables. Think about a larger portion of vegetables as your side dish rather than always adding a starch like pasta or rice. Try to find ways to eat more vegetables during your routine days. Baby carrots have a little more sugar, but make a great snack and are certainly a better alternative than chips.
  • Take it easy on the sauces. Sauces tend to add a lot of calories and sodium to otherwise healthy dishes. 
  • Always ask for the sauce on the side when you eat in a restaurant so you can drizzle some on; otherwise your food may be drowning in it.
  • Eat for your needs and not always your desires. Think of your body as the only car you will ever have to drive. It needs to last a lifetime so respect it, take good care of it, and feed it properly so it can take you all the places you want to go.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.