How do you get started on healthy eating?
Healthy eating starts with learning new ways to eat, such as
adding more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and cutting back on
foods that have a lot of fat, salt, and sugar.
A change to healthier eating also includes learning about
balance, variety, and moderation.
- Aim for balance. Most days, eat
food group—grains, protein foods, vegetables and fruits, and dairy. Listen to your body. Eat when you're hungry. Stop when you
- Look for variety. Be adventurous.
Choose different foods in each food group. For example, don't reach for an
apple every time you choose a fruit. Eating a variety of foods each day will
help you get all the nutrients you need.
- Practice moderation. Don't have
too much or too little of one thing. All foods, if eaten in moderation, can be
part of healthy eating. Even sweets can be okay.
Why pay attention to what you eat?
Healthy eating will help you get the right balance of
minerals, and other
nutrients. It will help you feel your best and have
plenty of energy. It can help you handle stress better.
Healthy eating is one of
the best things you can do to prevent and control many health problems,
- Heart disease.
- High blood pressure.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Some types of
Is healthy eating the same as going on a
Healthy eating is not a diet. It means
making changes you can live with and enjoy for the rest of your life.
Diets are temporary. Because you give up so
much when you diet, you may be hungry and think about food all the time. And
after you stop dieting, you also may overeat to make up for what you missed.
Eating a healthy, balanced variety of foods
is far more satisfying. And if you match that with more physical activity, you
are more likely to get to a healthy weight—and stay there—than if you diet.
How do you make healthy eating a
First, think about your reasons for healthier eating. Do you
want to improve your health? Do you want to feel better? Are you trying to set
an example for your kids?
Next, think about
some small changes you can make. Pick ones you can keep
- Don't try to change everything at
- Set an easy goal you can reach, like
having a salad and a piece of fruit each
- Make a long-term goal too, such as
having one vegetarian dinner a week.
Where can you get support?
Having support from others can be a huge help. The more support
you have, the easier it will be to make changes. Ask family and friends to practice healthy eating with you. Have them help you make meals, and share healthy, delicious
recipes and cooking tips.
If you need more
help, talk to your doctor or a
registered dietitian. Look online for groups that
support healthy eating and share success stories.