Don't be overwhelmed
Depending on where you are on the healthy food continuum, you may have a lot of work to get from where you are now to where you want or need to be.
In fact, many people give up on the whole concept, because they are overwhelmed by the amount of change that is required.
However, you can pick just one change that you are going to make today that will help you toward your goal of eating well. When you have accomplished that one change, then choose another—maybe adding some colorful fruits and vegetables, or some Omega-3 foods like walnuts or flaxseed. If you continue in this way—gradually limiting or eliminating the less healthy foods and adding the ones that help your body function well, before you know it, you will have achieved your goal.
The important thing to remember is that anything you do to improve your diet and lifestyle is better than not doing anything at all.
*Eat a variety of fresh, whole foods, including selections from the five food groups—Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Meat and Legumes and Milk.
*Include at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, with an emphasis on vegetables.
*Include a serving of low-fat versions of good quality protein with each meal and snack.
*Eat good carbs such as whole grains most, if not all of the time.
*Choose unsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.
*Include fiber foods with each meal so that you get a total of 25-30 grams of fiber each day.
*Eat a balanced diet with a ratio of 40-30-30 of good carbs, low-fat protein and good quality fats respectively.
*Eat colorful foods for their phytonutrients.
*Choose low-fat versions of dairy products and leaner meats.
*Stay away from empty calories that provide calories but little nutrition.
*Limit your intake of foods with added sugar and salt.
*Limit pre-packaged foods and fast foods, which are generally over-processed, full of preservatives and high in sodium.
*Drink 6-8 glasses of filtered water each day, while avoiding soft drinks and limiting fruit juice.