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Make Eating Healthier Your Resolution in 2022

From Erika Graziani, a Registered Dietitian with Lee Health

The start of the new year is the perfect time to start developing healthy habits, allowing you to move toward optimal health.

Kick start the new year with proper nutrition. It’s easier than you may think to begin incorporating small steps that often make a significant impact. The key to healthy eating is to think of this as a lifestyle change and not something temporary to achieve a temporary goal.  Instead, think of this as a life-long change. It is best to refrain from extreme dieting to prevent short-lived results.

Some simple ways to start eating healthy include the following:

  • Eat mostly whole foods with focus on more plant-based foods (fruits & vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts & seeds)
  • Aim to fill at least half of your plate with vegetables & fruit
  • Include whole grains, such as oats, barley, brown rice, wild rice or quinoa
  • Vary your protein sources and keep portions of fish or lean meat to 3-4 ounces; Incorporate beans, lentils, soy products, nuts & seeds more often
  • Keep saturated fat and cholesterol low; avoid trans fat
  • Limit salt (sodium) and added sugars
  • Balance your calorie intake with your physical activity

Proper nutrition is an essential part of the foundation of a healthy lifestyle and helps us reach key health benchmarks. For most of us, a healthy and balanced diet includes a variety of foods, which together provide sufficient protein, carbohydrate, fat, and other nutrients our bodies need.

Drinking enough water is also very important for your health. Most of your fluid needs are met through the water and beverages you drink. You can get some fluids through the foods that you eat – especially foods with high water content, such as many fruits and vegetables.

Tips to drinking more water include:

  • Carry a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.
  • Fill some freezer-safe bottles with water and freeze. Take one with you for ice-cold water all day long.
  • Replace sugary drinks with water.
  • Opt for water when eating out. You’ll save money and reduce calories.
  • Serve water during meals.
  • Add a wedge of lime or lemon to your water. This can help improve the taste, allowing you to drink more water than you usually would.

You can always visit www.leehealth.org/health-and-wellness to get more health and nutrition tips.