Start your journey to health and wellness by looking at the foods on your plate. Your plate should include all the food groups and be in proportion according to this picture. It should also include small amounts of healthy fats, like olive oil, nuts or margarine. If you don’t include one of the food groups, save it for a snack.
Before you eat, take a quick assessment of your meal and think about these tips:
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
This is a great way to start building more balanced meals and also a great way to get more fiber and nutrients. Choose a variety of colors.
Make at least half your grains whole.
Whole grains provide more fiber, which is filling and can help control cholesterol. Aim for 100% whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta and brown rice.
Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk.
Lower-fat milks have the same amount of calcium and vitamin D as whole or 2% milk, but with less fat and calories.
Choose lean proteins.
Keep it mixed up with seafood, nuts, beans, lean meat, poultry and eggs.
Cut back on sodium and empty calories from solid fats and sugars.
Eat sugary desserts less often and avoid sugary drinks. Compare the sodium in products you purchase and choose the lower numbers. Make major sources of saturated fats like desserts, pizza, cheese, sausage and hot dogs occasional choices, not every day foods.
Enjoy your food but eat less.
Find out how many calories you need to maintain your weight or lose weight. Your registered dietitian can do this for you! Eat smaller portions of food and dine out less often to stave off unnecessary calories.
Don’t forget about exercise! Be physically active your way.
Pick exercises that you like doing, such as walking, jogging, biking or swimming. Start off with 10 minutes at each session and work your way up to at least 150 minutes per week.
Find other helpful resources on the MyPlate website: choosemyplate.gov. And get ready for “What’s on MyPlate?” Day, scheduled for March 8. Share what’s on your plate by commenting on our blog or on twitter. Spread the word that what’s on your plate matters!