Small diet swaps can make a big difference

Healthy eating is not about dieting and losing weight, it’s about keeping you well today and preventing future health problems, nutrition experts say.

Michelle Waspi, a nutritionist at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago, says that making small changes to your diet can make a difference to your health in the long run.

“One way to improve general wellness and weight loss includes swapping unhealthy foods for fruits, vegetables, or grilled poultry without the skin,” Waspi says.

Eating fruits and vegetables reduces the risks of disease and heart issues. Waspi advises people to choose a variety of lean proteins and add color to their plates. The more colorful the plate, the more likely you’ll get the vitamins, minerals and fiber your body needs to stay balanced.

Making small changes like adding a salad to your diet once a day is more achievable than going for some drastic change, Waspi says.

“Eating healthy snacks such as granola, nuts and raisins can make a big difference on staying on the right track,” she says.

Waspi recommends trying these food swaps:

  • Instead of French fries, eat grilled corn or baked potatoes
  • Replace salty seasoning with fresh herbs and spices
  • Substitute soda with water or flavored water

“Make goals for yourself, increase outdoor exercise, partner up with someone, and don’t go grocery shopping hungry,” says Waspi. “Going grocery shopping hungry can guide you to purchasing a week’s worth of unhealthy food and selecting more high-calorie items.”

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