Smart Shopping, Healthy Eating
Healthy Eating Shortcuts
1. Eat at least one fruit or veggie with every meal (and most snacks)
Getting five to nine (or more) servings of produce a day may sound impossible, but if you start sneaking them in at breakfast and keep going at every meal, you should come pretty close to hitting the recommended amount. You'll also get enough fiber and vitamins for the day. Another perk: The high water content and fiber in most fruits and vegetables will help you fill up, which means you'll be less likely to get the munchies and eat too much.
What's one serving? One piece of fresh fruit, a half-cup of sliced fruit, a half-cup of most types of vegetables, one cup of greens like lettuce or spinach, or one cup of 100% fruit juice—but don't worry if you can't remember all that. If you just put any fruit or veggie on your plate at every meal, you're doing pretty well.
2. Choose whole foods instead of processed and packaged ones whenever you can
By "whole," we mean they should exist in nature and have just one primary ingredient (for example, bananas, broccoli, chicken, brown rice, milk). Ninety percent of the time, these foods are the healthiest, and eating mostly whole foods makes it more likely that you'll get enough protein, fiber and whole grains. And eating fewer packaged foods should help you avoid excess sodium, sugar and calories.
3. If you don't recognize (or can't pronounce) three or more ingredients on a food label, skip it
Of course you're still going to eat some packaged foods every now and then, but that doesn't mean you can't be picky. The shorter and simpler the ingredient list, the better. That's because a milelong list is usually a sign that a food is loaded with sugar, artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, saturated and trans fats, sodium, preservatives and chemicals…all stuff you want to avoid as much as possible.
4. Don't leave home without a healthy, portable snack, like a small bag of unsalted nuts, a lowfat granola bar or a piece of fruit
Finding yourself starving and stranded is a surefire way to make even the best intentions go bad. Who hasn't found herself nibbling on pastries during a long meeting or buying potato chips from a vending machine because there was no better food in sight?
The best defense is to be prepared. Make sure you have something nutritious (and low-cal) stashed in your handbag or glove compartment at all times. This way it'll be that much easier to resist that bag of chips or extra-large cookie the next time your tummy starts rumbling.
Video: HEALTHY MEAL TIME! (epic meal time parody)
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