1. Choose a healthy portion size
You are what you eat. How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Overloading your plate, taking multiple helpings and eating until you feel totally stuffed can lead to eating more calories than you should. This will lead to obesity and possible heart disease. This is applicable whether you are eating at home or in public.
Here are a few simple tips to control your food portion size, improve your shape as well as protect your heart and waistline:
• Use a small plate or bowl to help control your portions.
• Eat more low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables
• Eat smaller amounts of high-calorie, high-sodium foods, such as refined, processed or fast foods.
• keep track of the number of servings you eat.
2. Eat more vegetables and fruits
Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables and fruits are also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Vegetables and fruits contain substances that may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Eating more fruits and vegetables may help you cut back on higher calorie foods, such as snack and carbonated drinks.
Keep vegetables washed and cut in your refrigerator for quick snacks. Keep fruit in a bowl in your kitchen so that you'll remember to eat it. Choose recipes that have vegetables or fruits as the main ingredients, such as vegetable stir-fry or fresh fruit mixed into salads.
- Fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits
- Low-sodium canned vegetables
- Canned fruit packed in juice or water
- Fried or breaded vegetables
- Canned fruit packed in heavy syrup
- Frozen fruit with sugar added
3. Select whole grains
Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that contribute to regulating blood pressure and heart health. Replace refined grain products with whole grain alternatives.
• Whole-wheat flour
• Whole-grain bread
• whole-wheat bread
• Whole-grain pasta
• Oatmeal (steel-cut or regular)
• High-fiber cereal with 5 g or more fiber in a serving
• White, refined flour
• White bread
• Snacks including sweetened popcorn