Eating healthy foods is important to make sure your body gets the nutrients it needs every day. It is also important to stay within your daily calorie goal, whether it is designed to help you lose weight, gain or maintain your current weight. Eating healthy foods will help reduce the risk of heart disease and other serious health conditions.
If you plan your meals in advance, you are more likely to choose healthy foods over comfortable foods.
The road to wellness
Before heading to the grocery store, it may be helpful to sit back and think about what you will need to make a healthy eating plan. Find recipes that are easy to cook together, especially if you want to plan and prepare your food in advance. Many people find that cooking and canning food for the weekend next week helps them maintain their commitment to healthy eating.
Based on your taste preferences, your menu should include:
- Lots of vegetables and fruits. As a general rule, vegetables and fruits should occupy half of the plate.
- Whole grains. At least half of cereals should be whole grains, as they provide more fiber and nutrients than refined grains. You can search the labels for terms like “100% whole grain” or “100% whole grain”.
- Skimmed or low-fat dairy products they contain calcium and other essential nutrients, but have fewer calories.
- lean meat and other sources of protein, such as beans, eggs and nuts.
- Limit your intake of saturated and trans fats, sodium and added sugars. If you use ingredients such as mayonnaise, butter or salad dressings while cooking, try those that are lower in calories and generally saturated and trans fat.
Also, be sure to include snacks and meals that you can eat on the go when you visit the supermarket. This may include fruits, washed and sliced vegetables, yogurt, low-fat cheeses, whole-grain crackers or bread, and protein options such as nuts or low-fat turkey slices.
Also consider buying food containers for a week. That way, if you prepare meals weekly, you’ll have an organized way to store them so you can pick them up and go.