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Tips on Making Healthy Food Choices

Making healthy food choices begins at the grocery store. This is where you make the decision to purchase junky foods with empty calories or select healthy nutritious foods to take into your home. If you take home any junky foods, then your or your family will be tempted to eat them first choice instead of the other healthy foods you take home. If you make the choice to purchase and have only healthy foods readily available, then its undoubtedly what you all will have to eat. It is very simple, if you do not have it - you cannot eat it and you will all have a better chance of remaining in great health.

Eat from the five (5) food groups everyday - the USDA Food Pyramid is a great way to assess or customize your daily food group intake.

Eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits each day - focus on fruits and vegetables that have the most color - they are generally the most nutritious.

Choose whole grains over processed (refined) grains.

Limit sugar intake and consumption of refined carbohydrates, including pastries, sweetened cereals, soft drinks and other foods high in sugar (use only dark sugar).

Substitute healthier fats for not-so-healthy fats - choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil. Avoid trans fats, found in many margarines and baked goods.

Use only lean cuts of meat ("round" or "loin") - trim excess fat from meats.

Opt for low-fat and fat-free dairy products.

Choose poultry, fish and beans as alternatives to beef, lamb and pork.

Eat healthy unsalted, unprocessed nuts and seeds.

Watch your portion sizes - serving meals on smaller plates instead of larger ones will help you control portions.

Eating meals rich in protein (fish, meat, eggs, poultry), nuts, seeds and fresh raw fruits and vegetables, will ensure our bodies a higher proportion of natural vitamins and minerals, and less synthetic. Let us try to use the most natural ingredients in our diets. We should not be frying our foods but if we have to, let us use natural oils - olive, corn, sunflower seed etc. Also, let us use more honey, whole grain and wheat (especially wheat germ).

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