No matter how committed you are to eating healthier or losing weight, making drastic changes can be hard.
A better approach is to make small shifts in the foods you eat every day, according to the U.S. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines.
To boost your diet efforts over time, try one small shift a week.
Here are 10 to aim for:
- Shift from white bread to whole wheat bread or a wrap.
- Shift from meat to seafood or replace meat in recipes with beans and vegetables twice a week. Join the Meatless Monday bandwagon to gradually reduce the red meat—beef, lamb and pork as well as processed meats—in your diet.
- Shift from salted to unsalted nuts and from regular canned soups and vegetables to low-sodium varieties. These are painless ways to reduce unnecessary salt.
- Shift from butter to olive oil and from creamy dressings to vinaigrettes. This increases unsaturated fats in your diet while reducing saturated ones.
- Shift from whole milk to 2% and then to 1% milk. Even though some studies have reported that full-fat dairy is not the health threat it was once thought to be, this shift will cut calories if you need help losing weight or maintaining a loss.
- Shift from cream-based pasta dishes to ones with red sauce. This also cuts saturated fat.
- Shift to roasted squash chunks from French fries. You’ll get more nutrients with fewer calories.
- Shift from pepperoni to vegetables on your pizza. Processed meats are one of the unhealthiest foods in the American diet.
- Shift from potato chips to air-popped popcorn and dip chips into salsa instead of sour cream. You’ll enjoy more volume for fewer calories and less fat.
- Shift from whipped cream to milk foam on coffee drinks. You might even buy a countertop frother for your home.
Look for more opportunities to make small changes like these every time you open your fridge, go grocery shopping or order at a restaurant.