Health Library Explorer
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings Contact Us
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Click a letter to see a list of conditions beginning with that letter.
Click 'Topic Index' to return to the index for the current topic.
Click 'Library Index' to return to the listing of all topics.

4 Steps for Eating Healthier

Changing the way you eat can improve your health. It can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, and help you stay at a healthy weight. Your diet doesn’t have to be bland and boring to be healthy. Just watch your calories and follow these steps:

Plate of grilled fish and small serving of potatoes.

Step 1. Eat fewer unhealthy fats

  • Choose more fish and lean meats instead of fatty cuts of meat.

  • Skip butter and lard, and use less margarine.

  • Pass on foods that have palm, coconut, or hydrogenated oils.

  • Eat fewer high-fat dairy foods like cheese, ice cream, and whole milk.

  • Get a heart-healthy cookbook and try some low-fat recipes.

Step 2. Go light on salt

  • Keep the saltshaker off the table.

  • Limit high-salt ingredients, such as soy sauce, bouillon, and garlic salt.

  • Instead of adding salt when cooking, season your food with herbs and flavorings. Try lemon, garlic, and onion, or salt-free herb seasonings.

  • Limit convenience foods, such as boxed or canned foods and restaurant food.

  • Read food labels and choose lower-sodium options.

Step 3. Limit sugar

  • Pause before you add sugars to pancakes, cereal, coffee, or tea. This includes white and brown table sugar, syrup, honey, and molasses. Cut your usual amount by half.

  • Use non-sugar sweeteners. Stevia, aspartame, and sucralose can satisfy a sweet tooth without adding calories.

  • Swap out sugar-filled soda and other drinks. Buy sugar-free or low-calorie beverages. Remember water is always the best choice.

  • Read labels and choose foods with less added sugar. Keep in mind that dairy foods and foods with fruit will have some natural sugar.

  • Cut the sugar in recipes by 1/3 to 1/2. Boost the flavor with extracts like almond, vanilla, or orange. Or add spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg.

Step 4. Eat more fiber

  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day.

  • Boost your diet with whole grains. Go for oats, whole-grain rice, and bran.

  • Add beans and lentils to your meals.

  • Drink more water to match your fiber increase to help prevent constipation.

Online Medical Reviewer: Horowitz, Diane, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Wilkins, Joanna, RD, CD
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2017
© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
The health content and information on this site is made possible through the generous support of the Haspel Education Fund.
StayWell Disclaimer