When it comes to food, most Americans aren’t making healthy choices. We eat tons of processed junk food, filling up on sugar and starch, while not giving our bodies the nutrients they need to be their best and healthiest.

And it’s not all our fault. Food companies have engineered their products to perfectly fit our “sweet and salty spots” – that taste where our brains, which have evolved to crave certain nutrients that are more rare in nature, can’t get enough, and keep us eating.

Healthy Tips For Eating Real

  • Your plate should be mostly plants, with about ¼ meat and dairy on the side
  • Carry a water bottle for easy access when you are out and about
  • Do your best to eat fewer fried foods
  • Eat REAL food – if it’s in a shiny, colorful bag, try to skip it if you can
  • Shop the outside of the store – all the junk or processed food is in the middle, right at eye level
  • Drink plenty of water every day – about 8 glasses
  • Kids learn from watching adults – if you eat better, they will, too
  • Count calories for a short time to understand what you’re eating
  • Choose less sugar-sweetened foods and beverages

This means that we have to be aware of what we’re taking in, more than ever. This doesn’t mean going on a crazy diet plan or making yourself miserable. It does mean focusing on eating more grains, fruits and vegetables; usually eating less meat and dairy; and building habits that make eating better a given, not an exception.

Focus on eating a rainbow of colors in your fruits and vegetables every day, by varying your choices you are expanding the nutrients from the variety of fruits and vegetables you are eating; eating ‘whole’ grains more and remember that ‘refined’ means they have removed the fiber from the grains.

Consider eating less meat. Try ‘meatless’ meals with emphasis on high-quality proteins. Vary your meat choice from beef by including chicken, pork, fish, seafood, beans, nuts and legumes.

Finally, eat when you are hungry and listen to your body for ‘full’ cues.  Eat slow and enjoy the taste and smell of your food. Strive for smaller portions – remember you don’t have to be part of the ‘clean plate’ club! 

Resources for Eating Real