The new year is finally here, along with the pressure to make huge resolutions that most likely won’t last. If you are choosing to focus on your health this year, check out some of these simple dietary changes that can have a lasting impact.
Swap out sodas for water
Sodas contain high amounts of added sugar and caffeine, which can both negatively affect your health. In addition to lowering these ingredients, increasing your water intake can help with digestion, weight maintenance, and healthy skin. If you like adding flavor, try a flavored seltzer water, infuse your water with fresh fruit, or use a flavor additive made with stevia!
Cook more at home
When you cook meals at home, you can control the ingredients, and how much added saturated fat or sodium you use. If you love burgers, make some at home with lean beef, olive oil, and a whole grain bun. If you love tacos, get creative with ground turkey, black beans, shredded chicken, or lentils. Cooking at home also gives you a chance to save money and add more veggies to the meals.
Eat more veggies
Find creative ways to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. Try cauliflower pizza crust, zucchini noodles, sweet potato toast, lettuce wraps, cauliflower alfredo, and cauliflower rice for creative substitutes! Or, simply add more vegetables to the plate by adding side salads, serving your protein over greens, and filling your sauces and soups with veggies like zucchini, squash, carrots, and spinach.
Go lean with the proteins
Meat products contain saturated fats, which can lead to heart disease. Choosing lean meats such as chicken, turkey, pork or beef loin, lean beef, and flank steak will reduce your saturated fat intake. You can also cut off the fat from the meat you have available. Other options for reducing saturated fat are to replace some of your meat portions with fish or plant proteins. Fish are full of healthy fats, called omega-3 fatty acids, which help our brains and supportive tissues around our organs. Plants do not have fat and are loaded with essential nutrients to keep our bodies healthy and strong. Plant proteins include beans, peas, lentils, tofu, tempeh, nuts, and seeds.