Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice

Article written by Brittney Newsome

Eating healthy is often considered expensive and challenging. The truth is healthy eating does not need to be complicated or break the bank. It is easy to feel confused by the ongoing media attention to the latest diet fad but the key to good nutrition is really all about consistency. The choice to consistently choose healthy food and beverages. Over time those healthy choices will become healthy habits that will lead to an overall healthier lifestyle. Making these changes as a part of your everyday life will reduce your risk of chronic diseases and aid in the maintenance of a healthy weight.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, most people in the United States need to adjust their eating patterns to increase their intake of dietary fiber, calcium, vitamin D, and potassium. At the same time, statistics show that Americans need to consume less added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium. Below are some nutrition basics divided into categories to help you get started on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.


  • Are made up of carbohydrates which are the main source of energy for your body.
  • Aim for each meal to have at least a quarter of your plate made up of grain food.
  • Make half of your grains whole grains.

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Are high in fiber and full of vitamins and nutrients
  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
  • Eat a variety of colors to have a greater range of nutrients.
  • 1½ to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables as part of a healthy eating pattern


  • Are essential in building, maintaining, and repairing skin, organs, and muscles
  • A quarter of your plate at each meal should consist of a protein food.
  • Aim for lean proteins such lean meats, poultry, and eggs; seafood; beans, peas, and lentils; and nuts, seeds, and soy products.

Healthy Fats

  • The body needs healthy fat in order to function properly.
  • Focus on foods that are high in healthy fats such as nuts, fish, and oils such as olive and vegetable oils.

Be smart about your beverage choices

  • Drink more water
  • Drink low fat or fat free milk

Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium

  • Added sugars- Less than 10 percent of calories per day starting at the age of 2. Avoid foods and beverages with added sugars for those younger than the age of 2.
  • Saturated fat- Less than 10 percent of calories per day starting the age of 2.
  • Sodium- Less than 2,300 milligrams per day- and even less for children younger than the age of 14.

According to the CDC, research shows that people get full by the amount of food they eat, not the number of calories they take in. You can cut calories in your favorite foods by lowering the amount of fat and or increasing the amount of fiber-rich ingredients, such as vegetables or fruit. Eating fewer calories doesn’t necessarily mean eating less food.

Remember small steps lead to big results. Over time, you’ll figure out meal-preparation short-cuts and it will become easier to make healthy meals a regular occurrence.

Information sourced from and

2/14/2023 3:01:58 PM
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