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Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight

Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight

An eating plan that helps manage your weight includes a number of healthy foods. Add a range of colors to your plate and think of it as eating the rainbow. Dark, leafy greens, oranges, and tomatoes—even fresh herbs—are laden up with vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Adding frozen peppers, broccoli, or onions to stews and omelets gives them a fast and convenient boost of color and nutrients.

  • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
  • Includes a number of protein foods such as seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, nuts, and seeds.
  • Is low in added sugars, sodium, saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol.
  • Stays within your daily calorie needs

USDA’s MyPlate Plan can help you identify what and simply how much to consume from the various food groups while staying within your recommended calorie allowance. You may also download My Food Diary to greatly help track your meals.

Fruit

Fresh, frozen, or canned fruits are great choices. Try fruits beyond apples and bananas such as mango, pineapple or kiwi fruit. When fruit is not in season, try a frozen, canned, or dried variety. Know that dried and canned fruit may contain added sugars or syrups. Choose canned varieties of fruit packed in water or in its own juice.

Vegetables

Add variety to grilled or steamed vegetables with an herb such as rosemary. You may also sauté (panfry) vegetables in a non-stick pan with a little bit of cooking spray. Or try frozen or canned vegetables for a fast side dish—just microwave and serve. Look for canned vegetables without added salt, butter, or cream sauces. For variety, try a new vegetable each week. 

Calcium-rich foods

In addition to fat-free and low-fat milk, consider low-fat and fat-free yogurts without added sugars. These can be found in a number of flavors and can be a great dessert substitute.

Meats

If your chosen recipe calls for frying fish or breaded chicken, try healthier variations by baking or grilling. Maybe even try dry beans in the place of meats. Ask friends and search the net and magazines for recipes with fewer calories ― you could be surprised to find you have a new favorite dish!

Comfort Foods

Healthy eating is focused on balance. You are able to enjoy your chosen foods, even if they are full of calories, fat or added sugars. The important thing is eating them only one time in a while and balancing them with healthier foods and more physical activity.

Some general tips for comfort foods:

    • Eat them less often. If you normally eat these foods each and every day, cut back to once per week or once a month.
    • Eat smaller amounts. If your chosen higher-calorie food is really a chocolate bar, have an inferior size or only half a bar.
  • Try a lower-calorie version. Use lower-calorie ingredients or prepare food differently. For instance, if your macaroni and cheese recipe includes whole milk, butter, and full-fat cheese, try remaking it with non-fat milk, less butter, low-fat cheese, fresh spinach and tomatoes. Keep in mind never to increase your portion size.

An eating plan that helps manage your weight includes a number of healthy foods. Add a range of colors to your plate and think of it as eating the rainbow. Dark, leafy greens, oranges, and tomatoes—even fresh herbs—are laden up with vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Adding frozen peppers, broccoli, or onions to stews and omelets gives them a fast and convenient boost of color and nutrients.