We are all familiar with junk foods. Sugary breakfast cereals, candy, chips, hot dogs, soda and ice cream just to name a few. These foods are high in calories, fat, added sugar and salt and low in nutrition value.
The increase in consumption of junk food is directly associated with increased rates of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, certain cancers and tooth decay. Follow these tips to start cutting out the junk food in your diet for a healthier you!
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Include at least one fruit and or vegetable with each meal and snack. These foods are low in calories, fat, added sugar and salt and packed with nutrients, water and fiber to help you feel full.
- Practice mindful eating. Turn off the TV at meal time and focus on your attention to your meal. Relax, savor your food, chew slowly and enjoy!
- Don't buy it. Practice a little willpower at the grocery store and leave these tempting foods behind. It's harder to avoid the tempting food once it's in your house.
- Drink more water. Staying well hydrated can help you stay focused and make smarter food choices.
- Keep healthy snacks convenient. Replace the cookie jar with a bowl of fresh fruit and take the time to cut up fresh fruits and veggies for quick and convenient snacks.
- Cut down on sweets. Don't deny yourself completely; just learn to right-size your portions. For example, a serving size of cake is a 2- inch square. To learn more about serving sizes, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.
- Write it down. Keeping a food journal can help people stay on track with healthy eating and has been shown to increase weight management success by as much as 50%. Be honest with what you are eating and how much you are eating.
- Eat sensibly and eat enough at meals. If you find yourself in constant snacking mode, you may not be getting enough food or a sensible mix of foods at meal times. To learn more, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.
- Check your emotions. Many people eat because they are bored, tired, anxious or depressed.
- Make it healthier. Do you have a weakness for French fries? Try oven roasted potatoes or parsnips. Love pizza? Make individual pizzas at home using whole wheat English muffins or pita for the crust. Top with low fat cheese, veggies and lean meats.