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Health > Food And Diet >Four tips for a healthy diet

Four Tips for a Healthy Diet

Eating the right foods can keep you healthy and prevent certain diseases. Below are some quick tips and suggestions on fats, fiber, calcium, fruits and vegetables.

1. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables!

Did you know that a diet high in fruit and vegetables is associated with the health benefits of reduced heart disease and cancer risk?

So, good ahead and enjoy more veggies and fruit!

Make a conscious effort to get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Even more may be better!

  • Eat fruits and vegetables as snacks (i.e. carrot sticks, apple slices)
  • Add fruit to your cereal and salads
2. Cut down on "bad" fats. Instead, consume "good" fats.

Fats are an important part of a healthy diet. However, there is a difference among the types of fats out there. Make sure you read the food labels carefully.

"Bad fats" are saturated fats and trans-fatty acids. Try to limit your intake of these types of fats. They are associated with higher risks of heart disease and stroke. These fats tend to be the most common types of fats that Americans consume. Less than 10% of the foods you eat should come from saturated fat.

"Good" fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Try to eat more of these types of fats instead of the saturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are mostly found in canola and olive oils. Polyunsaturated fats can be found in fish. There is some evidence that these types of fats may decrease the risk of heart disease.

  • Bake or broil instead of frying.
  • Use canola or olive oil for cooking. Avoid coconut and peanut oils.
  • Drink non-fat or low-fat milk instead of whole milk.
  • Choose chicken or fish over red meat.
  • Limit the amount of butter and margarine you eat.
  • Remove the skin from your chicken or turkey before eating it.
  • Limit eating-out at fast food restaurants.
  • Use skim milk or nondairy, nonfat creamer in your coffee.
  • Eat fewer processed baked goods (i.e. store-bought cookies and crackers which contain partially hydrogenated fats).
3. Make sure you have enough fiber.

A diet adequate in fiber can help prevent constipation and can help your cholesterol levels. It is also associated with a reduction in the risk of heart disease and stroke. Fiber is used to help treat irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, and hemorrhoids.

It is recommended that you get 20-35 grams of fiber a day.

Foods high in fiber include whole-grain breads, cereals, fruits, and vegetables. Dried beans, peas, raisins, prunes, apples, and citrus fruits are all good sources of fiber.

  • Suggestions:
  • Eat veggies or fruits for snacks.
  • Start your morning with a high-fiber cereal breakfast.
  • Add beans to casseroles.
  • Buy whole grain breads.
4. Calcium for strong bones

This is especially important for women. If you do not get enough calcium in your diet, you may be at risk for thin, weak bones or osteoporosis.

Make sure that you are getting at least 1000 mg of calcium a day. The best sources of calcium are dairy products. Many brands of juices, cereals, breakfast bars, soy milk, and breads are also fortified with calcium.

  • Make hot chocolate with milk instead of water.
  • Top your fruit salad with yogurt

If you are lactose intolerant, choose lactose-free milk or orange juice which is fortified with calcium. One 8 oz glass of calcium-fortified orange juice provides approximately 300 mg of calcium (which is roughly equivalent to the amount of calcium in a glass of milk).

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