5 Simple Tips for Healthy Eating

March 18, 2024

Happy National Nutrition Month! This March, celebrate National Nutrition Month by following these 5 simple tips for healthy eating:




1. Practice balance.


A balanced diet consists of healthy foods from all main food groups: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. All food groups have their own health benefits, which makes eating a variety of different foods so important.


For example, a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread already includes sources of whole grains, protein, and healthy fats. But adding some carrot sticks or apple slices on the side is a simple way to create an even more balanced meal.


A veggie salad is great on its own, but adding some chickpeas for protein and olive oil dressing for healthy fat is an easy way to encourage more balance.


A plate that is half filled with fruits and vegetables, a quarter filled with lean protein, a quarter filled with whole grains, and sprinkled with or cooked in healthy fats is a useful guide to follow when building healthy, balanced meals.




2. Reduce intake of processed and takeout foods.


Processed and takeout foods tend to be very high in sodium, saturated fats, and added sugars. These ingredients are either added to improve their appeal, shelf life, or both. Making foods at home rather than buying them premade is a simple tip that can make a huge change in consumption of these added ingredients.


Even small changes can make a difference! For example, instead of buying sweetened vanilla yogurt, try buying plain yogurt and adding your own honey and vanilla extract instead. This is a simple change that reduces added sugar consumption.


And not only is having homemade meals often healthier, but it usually tastes better too!




3. Add fiber.


Fiber is an important nutrient with numerous health benefits. It is found primarily in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fiber helps to support healthy digestion, manage cholesterol levels, achieve healthy weight, and more. Incorporate these foods at mealtimes and snack times.




4. Try some healthy protein swaps.


Not all protein foods are created equal, as they contain different levels of saturated fats. Saturated fats, which are considered the less healthy fats, are at the highest levels in red meats. Leaner sources of protein include products such as chicken, turkey, and plant-based proteins. Plant-based proteins have numerous health benefits and are found in foods such as beans, nuts, and some whole grains such as quinoa. Next taco Tuesday, try swapping out the beef for some black beans!




5. Put down that salt shaker.


Reducing salt intake is important for maintaining heart health and helping to prevent numerous problems such as cardiovascular and kidney disease. Reducing the use of added salt is not only important when shopping at the store, but also when cooking in the kitchen. Consider replacing extra salt with more spices and hot sauce as a way to add flavor without increasing sodium consumption.


Even though these tips are in celebration of National Nutrition Month, they can be implemented far beyond the month of March. Hope these tips are helpful, and happy eating!!

The Author

Rebecca Webb

Education B.S. in Nutrition (University of Massachusetts Amherst – 2022) B.S. in Psychology (University of Massachusetts Amherst – 2022) M.S. Candidate in Clinical Nutrition (Rush University Medical Center – 2024) Certifications ServSafe Food Handler ServSafe Allergens About Rebecca Rebecca Webb has been active in the nutrition field for 5 years working in culinary settings, working as a nutrition counselor, and more. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in clinical nutrition at Rush University, and enjoys applying her knowledge and experience to encourage healthy lifestyles in others. Rebecca believes that nutrition is for everyone and likes to find easy and fun ways for people to incorporate healthy eating into everyday life.

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