Eat Healthy – The best way to lose weight

The best way to lose weight

Be beautiful through diet

Eat Healthy

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Overview

Eating healthy means following a healthy eating pattern that includes a variety of nutritious foods and drinks. It also means getting the number of calories that’s right for you (not eating too much or too little).

Use your calories to eat a variety of healthy foods.

To eat healthy, be sure to choose:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy products
  • A variety of foods with protein, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans, peas, nuts, seeds, and soy products

Limit certain nutrients and ingredients.

Sodium (salt)

Sodium is found in table salt – but most of the sodium we eat comes from packaged food or food that’s prepared in restaurants.

Added sugars

Added sugars include syrups and sweeteners that manufacturers add to products like sodas, yogurt, and cereals ­– as well as things you add, like sugar in your coffee.

Saturated fats

Saturated fats come from animal products like cheese, fatty meats and poultry, whole milk, butter, and many sweets and snack foods. Some plant products like palm and coconut oils also have saturated fats.

Refined grains and starches

Refined grains and starches are in foods like cookies, white bread, and some snack foods.

Get a personalized Daily Food Plan to help you choose healthy foodsThis link is external to health.gov..

Track Meals

Making small changes to your eating habits can make a big difference for your health over time. Here are some tips and tools you can use to get started.

Keep a food diary.

Knowing what you eat now will help you figure out what you want to change. Print this food diary [PDF – 36 KB]This link is external to health.gov. and write down:

  • When you eat
  • What and how much you eat
  • Where you are and who you are with when you eat
  • How you are feeling when you eat

For example, you might write something like: “Tuesday 3:30 pm, 2 chocolate chip cookies, at work with Mary, feeling stressed.”

Shop Smart

Shop smart at the grocery store.

The next time you go food shopping:

  • Make a shopping list ahead of time. Only buy what’s on your list.
  • Don’t shop while you are hungry – eat something before you go to the store.

Use these tips to make healthy choices:

Check the Label

Read the Nutrition Facts label.

Understanding the Nutrition Facts label on food packages can help you make healthy choices.

First, look at the serving size and the number of servings per package – there may be more than 1 serving!

Then check out the calories. Calories tell you how much energy is in 1 serving of a food. In general:

  • 100 calories per serving is moderate
  • 400 calories per serving is high

To stay at a healthy weight, you need to balance the calories you eat and drink with the calories you burn. Learn more about watching your weight.

Next, look at the percent Daily Value (% DV) column. The DV shows you if a food is higher or lower in certain nutrients. Look for foods that are:

  • Lower in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fat (5% DV or less)
  • Higher in fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, and vitamin D (20% DV or more)

You can also use the DV to compare food products. Just be sure to check and see if the serving size is the same.

The picture below shows an example of a Nutrition Facts label.

nutrition-facts

 

To learn more about the Nutrition Facts label:

Healthy Families

Be a healthy family.

Parents and caregivers are important role models for healthy eating. You can teach kids how to choose and prepare healthy snacks and meals.

If you have a family member who has a hard time eating healthy, use these tips to start a conversation about how you can help.

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