You’ve made a New Year’s Resolution that 2020 is your year to make healthy eating a habit you keep. But it can be hard to know where to even begin.
Information seems to change all the time about what’s healthy or what’s not. And the amount of information can be overwhelming. Or it conflicts with each other – do any of these messages sound familiar?
- “Don’t eat meat.” “Eat mostly meat.”
- “Carbohydrates are bad.” “Carbohydrates are good.”
- “Eat less fat.” “Eat more fat.”
Healthy eating starts with understanding what it really is: eating a variety of foods with the nutrients your body needs. Nutrients to stay healthy, have energy and feel good. That means developing a healthy eating style, not following a diet, according to Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD, an IU Health primary care physician.
“Despite what they promote, fad diets that eliminate specific foods aren’t usually focused on a life-long healthy way of living,” said Rohr-Kirchgraber. “When you eliminate food groups, you’re eliminating important nutrients your body needs.”
That’s why ChooseMyPlate is her go-to recommendation for making healthy eating simple. It’s an easy-to-understand guide to what your body needs every day and in what amount.
The key to making MyPlate work for you is eating a variety of foods in each group. Steer away from foods that are processed, have added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium (salt).
Every healthy choice adds up
It’s not always easy to make the switch to eating healthy if you’re trying to break years of poor eating habits.
For some people going all-in and changing everything at once is the way to success. Making small changes and working your way to a healthy eating style works, too. Every healthy food choice matters. Consider these small changes:
- Replace white breads and pasta with whole wheat versions
- Add lettuce, spinach and other vegetables to sandwiches
- Replace soda or sports drinks with water
- Snack on fruit or popcorn instead of chips
Eating more + eating less
Remember, a healthier style of eating doesn’t have to be complicated. It comes down to eating more of some things:
- whole foods
- whole grains
… and less of others:
- processed foods
- added sugars
- saturated fat
ChooseMyPlate is a complete guide to information that will help you become the healthy eater you want to be. You’ll find recipes, tips for eating healthy on a budget, and more, to make 2020 your year.