What Should I Eat?
Ask 10 people for the optimal diet and you’ll get 10 different answers. There’s no one-size-fits-all nutrition solution, but if you need help getting started, we put together some general guidelines to follow:
Stay on the outside of the grocery store
On the outside of the grocery store is where you’ll find produce and protein. Vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, poultry – this is what should make up the bulk of your diet. These foods are known as whole foods which means they are one ingredient and unprocessed.
Avoid foods with more than 5 ingredients
Sure, you’ll need some things from the aisles – like coffee, nuts, and dairy – but try to avoid food with labels that have a long list of ingredients. A healthy diet is not just about what you’re putting in your body, but it’s about what you’re avoiding too. Processed foods are packed with chemicals and ingredients that we can’t even pronounce. If a label has more than 5 ingredients in it, skip it. Crackers, chip, frozen meals, etc. Anything that is not a whole food that has one ingredient should be researched. Find out what you are putting into your body before buying it.
Look for added sugars
While you’re reading labels, keep an eye out for added sugar. It’s incredible how easy it is to exceed the recommended daily allowance of added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons (or 25 grams) of added sugar for women, 9 teaspoons (or 36 grams) for men per day. If you eat yogurt, oatmeal, or energy bars, look at the nutrition label to make sure they aren’t packed with sugar.
Monitor portion sizes
While the quality of your food is important, you should also be aware of the quantity of food you’re consuming. A very simple way to track your portion sizes is to use your hand.
Palm = 3-4 ounces
Used for proteins (such as meat, fish, poultry, and beans),
Women = 1 palm-sized portion or Men = 2 palm-sized portions every meal
Fist = 1 Cup Used for vegetables (stick to non-starchy veggies here),
Women = 1 fist-sized portion or Men = 2 fist-sized portions every meal
Cup your hand = Used for carbs (such as whole grains, starchy vegetables, and fruits),
Women = 1 cupped hand or Men = 2 cupped hand portions every meal
Thumb = 1 ounce Used for fats (such as nuts, oils, and butter),
Women = 1 thumb-sized portion or Men = 2 thumb-sized portions
Check out more nutrition tips here on building a healthy plate.
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