Ignore Diet Trends and Eat Healthy All Year

Aren’t you sick of random diets being advertised everywhere? The media promotes shakes, detox cleanses, weight loss teas, and the list goes on and on. It can be overwhelming to filter through what is real or not. Rest assure most diets advertised by the media have no scientific backing and most likely will not work in the long term. International No Diet Day is May 6, it is about ignoring all the crash diets being advertised and promoting healthy eating all year long. The healthy way to lose weight is to follow a balanced diet and stick to the recommended serving sizes. So what is healthy eating?

Make half your plate vegetables. Vegetables are packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals and they are low in calorie. Half your plate should be made up of vegetables. Choose non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, eggplant, asparagus etc. Vegetables can be raw, cooked, fresh, or frozen.

Focus on consuming whole fruits. Fresh fruits are a great source of fiber, Vitamin C, potassium and folate. According to United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA), diets rich in potassium may help maintain healthy blood pressure. Fruit juices tend to have tons of added sugar and lose their fiber.  Fiber is the work the body puts in to break down the food. Once fruit is blended, most of the fiber is gone. So always consume fresh fruits and vegetables to obtain the most nutrients and fiber as possible.

Choose lean proteins and mix it up. Proteins are important to maintain muscle mass and help our body function. Proteins are found in lean beef, chicken, turkey. Be sure to include seafood for omega 3s in the diet. Omega 3’s are heart healthy which help promote heart health. Also, include plant based proteins like beans, peas, unsalted nuts, tofu, peanut butter, edamame for variety in the diet.

Make at least half your grains whole grain. Whole grains are rich in B vitamins and minerals. According to the USDA, dietary fiber from whole grains may help reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Switch to whole grain bread, rice, pasta, cereals, and crackers. Also, try new whole grains like quinoa, farro, bulgur and so many more.

Switch to low fat or fat free dairy. Dairy is a great source of calcium which helps maintain strong bones. Be sure to switch to low fat/fat free dairy. Whole fat dairy contains unhealthy fat (saturated fats) which have been linked to heart disease. So it is important to switch to 1 percent or fat free milk, fat free yogurt and low fat cheeses.

Limit high sugar and high fat foods. Foods high in sugar like candy cakes, donuts and foods high in Saturated fats/trans fats like fried, greasy foods, bacon, salami, butter, cookie, donuts, muffins, etc. all contain unhealthy fats that may eventually lead to heart disease. High fat and high sugar foods should be limited.

Focusing on a balanced, healthy diet will lead to healthy weight loss and more stable weight loss. Let International No Diet day bring awareness to healthy eating and encourage you to take the steps needed to follow a healthy diet all year round. Happy Eating!

Jennifer Seleem is a registered dietitian/nutritionist with the Institute for Weight Loss at Hackensack Meridian Health Raritan Bay Medical Center-Old Bridge. The Institute provides weight loss surgery and support for individuals seeking weight loss and have been unable to lose weight through conventional dieting, exercise or weight loss medication. To attend a free seminar, which occurs three times a month, or to make an appointment with Jennifer for nutrition counseling, call 855-TIME-4-ME.

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