Eat this, not that or that, but this … what!? The dos and don’ts in the world of nutrition can be mind boggling. Even U.S. News and World Report rated 38 diet plans – 38! – for 2016. Where does one even begin?
The good news is, although different diets may come and go, the basics of healthy eating remain steady. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, named Best Diet for six years straight and first place in the category of Best Diets for Healthy Eating, is a good example.
The DASH diet was originally designed to lower blood pressure. But with a focus on eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grain and low fat dairy and less red meat and sweets, DASH not only helps you slim down and lower your blood pressure, it also reduces cholesterol and is a great choice for people who have diabetes.
The bottom line? Everything you eat and drink matters, so write it all down – at least for a few days. Then see how your diet stacks up. Just keep in mind the common denominator in any healthy eating plan is not eliminating entire food groups or trying to starve yourself. Rather, it’s emphasizing whole, minimally-processed foods, especially fruits and vegetables. In addition, drink plenty of water and eat regularly, approximately every four hours. Instead of jumping on the latest fad diet bandwagon, adopt a lifelong eating pattern that will enhance your health and well-being. The good news: It’s not as hard as you think. To get started, check out ChooseMyPlate.gov.
Need more motivation? Learn how to “Energize your Pantry” at a free seminar on Thursday, April 7 at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in Clinton Township. Celebrity chef Michelle Bommarito will discuss using food as fuel, how to make positive life changes regarding diet, exercise and sleep and share menu ideas. To register, call (800) 532-2411.
Pat Jurek is a registered dietician and manager of Henry Ford Macomb’s Center for Weight Management.