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question

What are healthy eating habits?

Toby Smithson
Toby Smithson on behalf of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist
answer

Healthy eating requires that you get an adequate amount of nutritious foods from each food group. The following suggestions will also reduce your risk for chronic diseases. A few good choices at the supermarket and in the kitchen can make it easier to adopt these healthy eating habits.

  • When choosing grains, make at least half of your grain whole grains.
  • Choose a variety of vegetables to color your plate. They are rich in nutrients, low in calories and their high fiber content will keep you feeling fuller.
  • Include fruit with your meals. Fruits provide nutrients necessary to maintain health and prevent disease, including vitamin C, potassium, folate and dietary fiber.
  • Choose fat-free or low-fat dairy products. These foods will provide vitamin D, calcium, potassium and protein you need without the extra saturated fat.
  • Choose lean meat and poultry. Keep meat portions small (the size of a deck of cards).
  • Eat a handful (one ounce) of nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts) a day for fiber, zinc and poly-unsaturated fats.
  • Do not skip meals. Your body needs the fuel, or energy, from food to keep going. Also, skipping meals makes one more likely to overeat at the next one.
  • Make smart beverage choices. Avoid sugary drinks (including juice and juice drinks). Drink plenty of water. If water just won’t do, select low or no-calorie drinks, such as tea.

Remember, the best way to incorporate these healthy eating habits into your own life is to set realistic goals; take one step at a time!

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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.