Ready or not, 2017 is here and (for me) already feeling like it’s in full swing. And, I’ve just barely articulated my goals for the new year. Hopefully, you’re feeling more prepared and organized with your 2017 goals!
It’s estimated that slightly less than half of all Americans make new year’s resolutions, yet only about 8 percent of us actually achieve those goals. Research shows us that specific goals (“I will eat a vegetable at every meal”) are much more achievable than grand, lofty goals (“I will eat more healthfully”).
Yesterday on CBS WFMY’s Good Morning Show, I shared these three small, focused tips to help you eat more healthfully, lose weight and prevent chronic disease in the new year.
- Eat more fiber. There are two main types of dietary fiber: (1) soluble fiber, which is found in oats, apples, citrus fruits, beans and carrots and helps to lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels, and (2) insoluble fiber, which is found in vegetables, nuts, beans and whole wheat flour and helps to promote regularity. But don’t get bogged down in the classification–just eat more fruits and vegetables, both of which Americans eat too little of. Eating more fiber-rich fruits and vegetables will boost skin and hair health, help prevent chronic diseases, encourage weight loss and keep your immune system, heart and eyes strong. Aim to eat a fruit and/or veggie at every meal and every snack.
- Eat more heart-healthy protein. According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, Americans eat enough protein, just not enough of a variety of protein-rich foods. Limit processed meats (like bacon, sausage, ham and deli meats) to reduce sodium and saturated fat intake, and eat more heart-healthy protein choices, like seafood, beans, nuts and seeds. Seafood is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which have been shown to help improve mood and heart, brain and eye health. Plant-based proteins, like beans, nuts and seeds, are rich in protein, dietary fiber and phytochemicals.
- Use the plate method. Portion size is key to eating the appropriate number of calories for your body. But, sometimes determining portion sizes can be difficult. So, stick with these two rules of thumb: (1) Make half your plate (or bowl) fruits and veggies, one-quarter heart-healthy proteins, one-quarter whole grains and a serving of calcium-rich dairy or dairy substitute. (2) Downsize your plate and–for portability–reach for smaller containers and baggies. Studies show we fill our plates and bowls (and containers and baggies), so make the space you’re filling smaller to reduce calories you eat in one sitting.
I also shared these easy-to-make recipes that are rich in both dietary fiber and heart-healthy proteins.