Eating foods full of nutrients fuels your body and mind.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, a healthy eating plan:
- Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
- Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
- Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars
- Stays within your daily calorie needs
The Start Simple app from the US Department of Agriculture can help you to plan your meals, pick simple daily food goals and see real-time progress. Try the app!
Choosing healthy drinks is one way to quickly improve your eating habits. Sugary drinks like soda and sweet tea can add many calories to your day if you choose them often. To work on making a change, start by tracking what you drink each day. The Drink Tracking Log can help. Simply print out the log and mark off the beverages you drink during the day. You can repeat this over several days or a week for a full picture of your habits. Consider sharing the log with your Primary Care Provider or Care Manager for help in setting goals.
Printable version, to complete on paper and share with your providers:
Once you complete the worksheet, try setting a goal for change. Here is an example.
What You Drink Now: You drink four drinks from the “Choose more often” column and four drinks from the “Choose less often” column each day.
Goal: Replace two of your “Choose less often” drinks with something from the “Choose more often” column.
For more information and tools on healthy eating, visit these sites:
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). Provides a variety of nutrition-related educational materials. http://www.eatright.org
- American Diabetes Association. An organization with the aim of leading the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes and fighting for those affected by diabetes. http://www.diabetes.org
- Foodsafety.gov. Provides access to government resources relating to food safety and nutrition. http://www.foodsafety.gov
App Source: US Department of Agriculture and Health & Human Services, Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/current-dietary-guidelines/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines
Worksheet Source: Insel/Roth, Connect Core Concepts in Health, Sixteenth Edition © 2020 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Chapter 13.