Here’s Why Today is the Perfect Day to Start Eating Healthy

dv2014035Here’s Why Today is the Perfect Day to Start Eating Healthy

You’ve wanted to have a healthier eating plan for a long time, but it always seems like you’re biting off more than you can chew.

Rather than make a big permanent change, maybe you can find greater success by deciding to eat healthy for just one day. And a great day to do that is today (Nov. 6) – National Eating Healthy Day.

Taking a small step can put you on the road to a bigger payoff, according to the American Heart Association.

“It’s natural for most people to want to try and adopt a healthy lifestyle and eating behaviors overnight. Evidence has shown, however, that small and steady changes over time are more successful to maintain,” said Micca Donohoo, a registered dietitian with the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center. “Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t about a perfect diet or program; it’s about ongoing changes that are realistic to sustain in the long run.”

The American Heart Association offers four tips that you can try today and start to put into practice for the days to come.

  • Slow down on the sodium: Americans eat more than twice the amount of sodium recommended by the AHA. Too much sodium increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and other health problems. We get most of our sodium – 77 percent – from processed foods. If you choose these foods, read the labels and find lower-sodium versions.
  • Pile on fruits and veggies: Choose all kinds – fresh, frozen, canned, juiced and dried. All fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Instead of using fats and oils to sauté your veggies, try a slender- sauté method using a small amount of broth or water to cook them. Choose canned fruits in their own juice or water to avoid added sugars and calories. Look for frozen or fresh vegetables to reduce added sodium or try rinsing canned goods to reduce salt by 41 percent.
  • Substitute fats: Learn how to substitute good fats (mono and polyunsaturated fats) for the bad ones (saturated and trans fats). For example, try canola oil or olive oil instead of butter. Choose lean meats, poultry without skin and fish instead of fattier cuts of meat. Enjoy heart-healthy fats in moderation. Remember that 1 teaspoon equals 1 serving.
  • Cook at home: This is not only a great way to make sure the ingredients that go into your recipe are healthy, but you can control the portion sizes, too. (Not to mention your budget.) Use a smaller salad plate for your main meal instead of loading up a larger dinner plate.