Shift into Spring With Healthy Eating Habits

Spring is the perfect time to break out of our winter comfort-food funk, take stock of our nutritional habits, and refresh our fridge – one food at a time! Here’s how to get started.
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With spring’s arrival comes fresh air, blooming flowers and sunny skies. It also marks the time when we put away those rich comfort foods we tend to indulge in during the cold winter months, and restock our pantries with fresh, healthy foods.

But sometimes, changing our eating habits is easier said than done. The thought of eliminating foods we love, resetting our eating patterns or going on a diet can be downright overwhelming.

Rather than feeling stressed by all the changes you want to make, shift your mindset and think about making ONE change at a time!

The simple transition from one old habit to a better choice will not only help you refresh your nutritional game plan, but also improve your overall health and protect you against chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Ready to give it a try? Start with these simple, healthy substitutions:

Fruits and Vegetables

  • One serving of vegetables per day to consuming two servings of vegetables per day
  • Fruit juice to a whole piece of fruit

Grains

  • White bread to 100% whole-wheat or whole-grain bread
  • White rice to brown rice, wild rice, barely, quinoa or farro
  • White flour to white whole wheat flour
  • Breadcrumbs to rolled oats or crushed bran cereal

Protein

  • Fatty cut of meat to lean cuts of meat
  • Red, processed meats to poultry, fish, seafood or beans
  • Poultry with skin to poultry without skin

Dairy

  • Whole fat milk or yogurt to low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt
  • Regular cheese to reduced-fat cheese
  • Sour cream to plain 0% Greek yogurt
  • Flavored yogurt to plain yogurt with fresh fruit added

Salt, Saturated Fat, Added Sugar and Portions

  • Cooking with butter to using olive or canola oil
  • Butter on toast to mashed avocado or nut butter
  • Cream-based soup to broth-based soup
  • Regular canned soup to low-sodium soup
  • Potato chips to air-popped popcorn or unsalted nuts
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages to water or seltzer with lemon
  • A larger plate to smaller plate

Need Nutrition Guidance?

Valley Health System’s personalized nutrition programs, led by registered dietitians, can help you get on the path to better nutrition. Services include nutrition coaching, menu planning, refrigerator makeovers, healthy recipes and more. For more information, call 201-447-8093 or visit ValleyHealth.com/Nutrition.

Categories: Bergen Health & Life