Eating right is not complicated


By Leitha Lee - Contributing columnist



Leitha Lee


Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply begin to shift to healthier food and beverage choices. These recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans can help get you started.

1. Emphasize fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products.

2. Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.

3. Make sure your diet is low in saturated fats, trans fats, salt (sodium) and added sugars.

Always Make Your Calories Count. Think nutrient-rich rather than “good” or “bad” foods. The majority of your food choices should be packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients, and lower in calories. Making smart food choices can help you stay healthy, manage your weight and be physically active.

Focus on Variety. Eat a variety of foods from all the food groups to get the nutrients your body needs. Fruits and vegetables can be fresh, frozen or canned. Eat more dark green vegetables such as leafy greens and broccoli and orange vegetables including carrots and sweet potatoes. Vary your protein choices with more fish, beans and peas. Eat at least 3 ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day.

Know Your Fats. Look for foods low in saturated fats and trans fats to help reduce your risk of heart disease. Most of the fats you eat should be monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils. Check the Nutritional Facts Panel on food labels for total fat and saturated fat.

There is a way to avoid moments of weakness when dining out. If possible, view the menu ahead of time. That way you can evaluate the food choices.

At home, it’s also important to anticipate unhealthy cravings. Many people make unwise snack choices when they are relaxing after dinner. My suggestion to this rule would be to take a walk or call a friend on the phone.

It is also a good idea to plan ahead and anticipate food temptations. To increase the chances of making healthy choices:

1. Store unhealthy foods out of sight.

2. Buy smaller or individually wrapped portions.

3. Brush your teeth right after you eat.

4. Stock up on sugarless gum.

5. Don’t overdo it.

If you do give in to temptation, do so in moderation. Have a small portion and share the rest, or put it away. Remember when you increase the number of eating occasions during the day, you increase body weight.

For more information on how to eat right, contact Lethia Lee at the Cooperative Extension office 910-592-7161.

Leitha Lee is the EFNEP program assistant for the Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program with the Sampson County Cooperative Extension Center.

Leitha Lee
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/web1_Lethia-New-1.jpgLeitha Lee

By Leitha Lee

Contributing columnist

Leitha Lee is the EFNEP program assistant for the Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program with the Sampson County Cooperative Extension Center.

Leitha Lee is the EFNEP program assistant for the Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program with the Sampson County Cooperative Extension Center.

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