Need some help getting started on spring cleaning your diet? Our dietitians have included tips for ensuring you have healthy staples on hand in your pantry to help make eating healthy easier! You can also try our dietitians' Healthy Meals Made Easy!
One of the best things your can do for your health this spring is to clean up your diet! Healthy eating gives your body the right balance of vitamins and nutrients that can make you feel more energized and focused and even prevent future diseases like diabetes. Follow these five easy steps to clean up your diet:
Replace unhealthy fat with healthy oils
Not all fats are bad! In fact, healthy oils, like olive and canola oil, are rich with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat which can be beneficial to your health. Less healthy fats, like lard or shortening, are high in saturated and trans fat which can increase your risks for heart disease. Make the switch from unhealthy to healthy today!
Eliminate added sugar
Candy, pastries, sodas, and cake are only a few examples of foods with added sugar. Foods with added sugar have had refined sugar or syrup added during processing for extra flavor. Look for words on the ingredients list like corn syrup, sucrose, sugar or syrup. Avoid foods if these words are high on the ingredients list.
Add plant-based foods
Whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts, and fresh fruits and vegetables are plant-based foods that have been shown to be very beneficial to your health. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans even encourages others to follow a more plant-based diet, while consuming less animal products. Try meals that feature a plant-based food instead of meat, such as vegetable lasagna, or eat a handful of almonds with a piece of fruit as a healthy snack.
Discover your inner chef
Clean up your diet by cooking more at home rather than eating out. By preparing your own meals, you will have more control over the healthy ingredients you use. You also may find that you eat less calories, as hidden calories and fat are often added to restaurant meals for flavor.
Add color & variety
Eat a variety of nutritious foods to keep your diet healthy! Aim to add brightly colored fruits and vegetables, and step out of your comfort zone to try something new. Try a new healthy recipe with a brightly colored vegetable you've never tasted or try an interesting piece of fruit for a snack.