An eating plan that helps control your weight includes a variety of healthy foods. Adding a variety of colors to your plate is like eating a rainbow. Dark green leafy vegetables, oranges, and tomatoes — even fresh herbs — are packed with vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Adding frozen peppers, broccoli, or onions to casseroles and tortillas adds color and nutrients.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025external icon, (link in English only) a healthy eating plan:
- Highlight the importance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products
- Includes a variety of protein foods such as shellfish, lean meats, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, nuts, and seeds
- Low in saturated fat, trans fat , cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugar
- Stays within your daily caloric needs
The MyPlate Planexternal iconfrom the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) can help you identify what and how much to eat from different food groups while staying within your recommended calorie allowance. You can also download My Food Diarypdf icon[PDF-129KB] to help you keep track of your meals.
Fresh, frozen, or canned fruits are great options. Try fruits beyond apples and bananas like mango, pineapple, or kiwi. When fresh fruit is not in season, try a frozen, canned, or dried variety. Be aware that dried and canned fruits may contain added sugars or syrups. Choose varieties of fruits canned in water or in their own juice.
Add variety to roasted or steamed vegetables with an herb like rosemary. You can also fry vegetables in a pan with a little oil. You can also try frozen or canned vegetables for a quick side dish. Just microwave them and serve. Look for canned vegetables with no added salt, butter, or creamy sauces. For a change, try a new vegetable each week.
Foods rich in calcium
In addition to skim and skim milk, consider skim and skim yogurts with no added sugars. These come in a variety of flavors and can be a great dessert substitute.
If your favorite recipe calls for deep-frying fish or breaded chicken, try healthier variations by baking or broiling. Maybe even try dried beans instead of meats. Ask your friends and search the Internet and magazines for lower calorie recipes; You will be surprised to find that you have a new favorite dish!
Healthy eating is based on balance. You can still enjoy your favorite foods, even if they are high in extra calories, fat, or sugar. The key is to eat them only occasionally and balance them with healthier foods and more physical activity.
Some general tips on comfort foods:
- Consume them less often. If you normally eat these foods every day, reduce the frequency to once a week or once a month.
- Eat smaller portions. If your favorite high-calorie food is a chocolate bar, eat a smaller size or just half a bar.
- Try a lower calorie version. Use low calorie ingredients or prepare food in a different way. For example, if your mac and cheese recipe includes whole milk, butter, and full-fat cheese, try making it with fat-free milk, less butter, low-fat cheese, fresh spinach, and tomatoes. Just remember not to increase your serving size.