Tips for a more nutritious New Year

There is still time to make a resolution for a healthier diet in 2013.

Even though we have moved past the official start of the New Year, many individuals are still thinking about setting a resolution or working to stay on track with one they have chosen. If your resolution or intentions are to work toward a healthier diet, there is still time to get moving on the right track to be successful. Here are a few nutritious tips from Michigan State University Extension to move you toward a healthy 2013:

  • Choose MyPlate. MyPlate is a guide to helping you choose more of the foods you need and less of those you don’t. Choose more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fat-free or one percent milk and dairy products. Cut back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars and salt. MyPlate tools can help you find out how much food your body needs, what types of food, how much of each food to consume, as well as how much physical activity to include daily. The SuperTracker tool can assist you in monitoring your daily diet and activity levels. A personalized nutrition plan can help you achieve your goals.
  • Make half your grains whole. Read the nutrition facts labels and be sure to include whole grains daily. Enjoy whole wheat bread or pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, barley or popcorn.
  • Use a smaller plate: Using a smaller plate at mealtimes can help with portion control. And also be sure to check out the sizes of your bowls and even glasses. Does your cereal bowl hold one cup of cereal or three cups? How much do you pour into your bowl each morning? What a difference in calories!
  • Make healthier beverage choices. Drink water, low-fat or fat-free milk or other low calories beverages when you are thirsty.
  • Use the nutrition facts label. Everything you need to know about the foods you are purchasing and consuming can be found on the nutrition facts label. Using the label can help guide you to healthier and smarter food choices.
  • If you eat out, choose more healthful options. Check and compare nutrition information about the foods you are eating. Most fast-food restaurants post nutrition facts on their menus.

The New Year is a good time to reflect on areas in our lives to make improvements or changes. Remember though, as resolutions are broken or forgotten about throughout the year, it is always a good time to set a new goal to make healthier foods choices. Set small goals and work toward them for success! Your body will thank you for it.

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