Reasons to Eat Well
- Achieve a healthy weight
- Reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes
- Have more energy
- Get better sleep
- Have less sick days, less health care bills
- Reduce risk for various cancers
- Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products
- Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products
- Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils, and beans for protein
- Serve reasonably-sized portions
- Encourage your family to drink lots of water
- Limit sugar-sweetened beverages
- Limit consumption of sugar and saturated fat
How to Eat Well
What foods are healthy?
- Grains: whole grain rice, whole grain breads, whole grain pastas and cereals made with whole grains and oats
- Vegetables: eat at least 3 servings of a variety of vegetables each day
- Fruits: eat fresh, canned ("in its own juice") or frozen fruit (without added sugar) - limit fruit juices
- Dairy: choose fat-free or low fat (1% or less)
- Meat & Beans: lean meat & poultry - eat more fish, chicken, beans, peas, nuts and seeds
- ChooseMyPlate.gov offers personalized eating plans, interactive tools and advice to help you plan your food choices.
What foods should I avoid?
- Avoid harmful fat from fried foods, lard and trans fats
- Limit junk food (potato chips, candy and baked goods from bakeries)
- Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars
- If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. One drink per day if you’re a woman and two drinks per day if you’re a man.
Heart Healthy Guidelines:
- Limit saturated fat to 8-10% of the day's total calories
- Limit total fat to 30% or less of the day’s total calories
- Tip: monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats are heart healthy (canola oil and olive oil are good choices)
- Consume less than 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day
- Limit sodium intake to 2400 milligrams a day
- Have just enough calories to achieve or maintain a healthy weight
Use the American Heart Association's MyFatsTranslator.com to calculate your personalized calorie and fat limitations.
SparkPeople offers personalized weight loss plans utilizing online nutrition, health, and fitness tools, support, and resources.
Here are some tips for a dining experience that is both tasty and good for you.
Be picky when you order:
- Ask for all butter, gravy or sauces to be left off a dish or served on the side
- Serve salad dressing on the side
- Use less cooking oil when cooking
Select foods that are:
- Garden fresh
- Lightly sauteed or stir-fried
Avoid foods that are:
- Fried, deep fried, southern fried
- Buttery, buttered, creamed, au gratin
Plan what you will eat before you arrive:
- Most chain restaurants post their menus on their websites
- Visit healthydiningfinder.com to find the items already deemed "healthy"
Local Nutrition Resources
UTMB WIC Nutrition Program
2016 Stallings Dr. N, Nacogdoches, TX 75964
The WIC Program is a supplemental food and nutritional education program for pregnant, breastfeeding women, and infants and children up to age 5.