The DASH diet is a good place to start when it comes to making changes in your diet. “Diets” are difficult to follow for the long term, but changing the way you think about eating and food choices can last a lifetime and will positively impact your health. The DASH diet is a plan with rules to keep in mind when making these choices such as: Whole grains rather than white flour, lean meats, and lots of fruit and vegetables.
It may seem overwhelming to consider 4-5 servings of fruit and 4-5 servings of vegetables each day. However, to improve your overall health and to lose weight if needed, you need to try to incorporate these items in your diet. This is not too hard if you add the fruit and vegetables to what you are already eating.
For example, if you eat cereal for breakfast, add some fresh fruit and 6oz of fruit juice. Rather than chips or crackers for a snack, choose an apple or carrots. Add some tomato and avocado to your sandwich and have a small salad or some fruit on the side. At dinner, you should be eating more vegetables than meat. Chop up some fresh vegetables, make a salad, or roast several vegetables as the main dish with meat or beans on the side. Pasta or potatoes can be a small side as well.
It’s better to think of diet changes by adding the healthy stuff (fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, beans) rather than trying to avoid the bad things (sweets, grease, fats, oils). If you fill up on the good things, you won’t need so much of the others.