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4 Steps for Eating Healthier

Broiled salmon with herbs on bed of edamame.Changing the way you eat can improve your health. It can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, and help you stay at a healthy weight. Your diet doesn’t have to be bland and boring to be healthy. Just watch your calories and follow these steps:

Step 1. Eat fewer unhealthy fats

  • Choose more fish and lean meats instead of fatty cuts of meat.

  • Skip butter and lard, and use less margarine.

  • Pass on foods that have palm, coconut, or hydrogenated oils.

  • Eat fewer high-fat dairy foods like cheese, ice cream, and whole milk.

  • Get a heart-healthy cookbook and try some low-fat recipes.

Step 2. Go light on salt

  • Keep the saltshaker off the table.

  • Limit high-salt ingredients, such as soy sauce, bouillon, and garlic salt.

  • Instead of adding salt when cooking, season your food with herbs and flavorings. Try lemon, garlic, and onion, or salt-free herb seasonings.

  • Limit convenience foods, such as boxed or canned foods and restaurant food.

  • Read food labels and choose lower-sodium options.

Step 3. Limit sugar

  • Pause before you add sugars to pancakes, cereal, coffee, or tea. This includes white and brown table sugar, syrup, honey, and molasses. Cut your usual amount by half.

  • Use non-sugar sweeteners. Stevia, aspartame, and sucralose can satisfy a sweet tooth without adding calories.

  • Swap out sugar-filled soda and other drinks. Buy sugar-free or low-calorie beverages. Remember water is always the best choice.

  • Read labels and choose foods with less added sugar. Keep in mind that dairy foods and foods with fruit will have some natural sugar.

  • Cut the sugar in recipes by 1/3 to 1/2. Boost the flavor with extracts like almond, vanilla, or orange. Or add spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg.

Step 4. Eat more fiber

  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day.

  • Boost your diet with whole grains. Go for oats, whole-grain rice, and bran.

  • Add beans and lentils to your meals.

  • Drink more water to match your fiber increase to help prevent constipation.

As you improve your eating habits, use My HealtheVet’s food journal to track your daily meals and see your progress. If you don’t have an account already, register today!

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 12/1/2018
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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