1. Vegetables and Fruits
Incorporate a variety of vegetables and fruits each day. And we know, sometimes prepping fresh produce can be a pain (why take the time to wash and cut up lettuce when there’s a bag of chips at arm’s length?).
Include options like frozen, canned, and even dried vegetables and fruits. That way, you can easily toss them into your daily meals.
2. Fat-Free or Low-Fat Dairy
The dairy aisle always seems never-ending at the grocery store. The key is to scope out the fat-free or low-fat options.
For example, choose from fat-free or low-fat:
- Ice cream
3. Whole Grains
Carbs have gotten a bad reputation over the years. While it is true that processed and refined grains are harmful to your health, you can substitute them with nutrient-dense carbs such as:
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole-grain bread, bagels, and tortillas
- Whole-grain pasta and couscous
Choose from healthy proteins like:
- Chicken or turkey breast without the skin
- Lean-ground chicken or turkey
- Fish or shellfish
- Beans, peas, and lentils
- Unsalted peanut or almond butter
These can help you feel full longer.
5. Healthy Fats and Oils
When it comes to dressing and sauce, there are healthier options to incorporate into your meals:
- Vegetable oil instead of butter for cooking
- Low-fat or light mayonnaise instead of full-fat mayo
- Oil-based salad dressings (e.g. balsamic vinaigrette instead of ranch dressing)
So how do you exactly put together a meal with all these items? Aim for a Mediterranean diet. Research shows a Mediterranean diet can lower cholesterol levels and decrease your cardiovascular disease risk.