1. Choose whole grains over processed refined grains.
Whole grains are packed full of fiber and other essential vitamins and minerals which are removed during the refining process. To get the most out of what you purchase and consume choose whole grains over refined grains when possible!
Examples: whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole wheat flour, quinoa, whole ground corn
2. Add at least one fruit or vegetable to each of your meals or snacks. The more color and variety the more nutrition!
Fruits and vegetables are "nutrient dense" foods. This means they are packed full of nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fiber but provide very little calories. Vegetables only provide 25 calories per serving (1 cup raw, 1/2 cup cooked) while fruits provide 60 calories per serving (small fruit, 3/4 cup berries or melon).
3. Choose low-fat and non-fat dairy products
Low fat dairy products provide the same great nutrients (vitamin D, calcium, protein) as full fat dairy products but are significantly lower in calories and fat. If you are not used to low fat dairy products slowly cut back. (e.g 1 cup 2% --> 1/2 cup 2% + 1/2 cup 1% -->1 cup 1%)
4. Choose lean protein sources.
There are a variety of lean protein sources out there like chicken, ground turkey or beef (85% or higher), turkey, pork, fish, beans, nuts, seeds, and soy bean based food products. These lean protein sources provide a great source of protein but are much lower in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol than high fat meats like beef, sausage, or bacon. Try a new protein source each day to mix it up and prevent you from getting bored!