So many of the foods we can buy today are over-processed and newfangled, it's hard to find many people anymore who can tell me (or even remember!) what healthy eating is.
But healthy eating isn't out of reach; you just have to know what it is and how to do it. Healthy eating simply means to eat a variety of foods in the right amounts, while limiting foods and beverages that are high in fat or high in sugar.
This may sound like a simple enough definition, but how do you go about constructing a healthy diet for yourself? I tell my clients that a good place to start is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Guide Pyramid
Healthy eating includes all the food groups ó grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, meat and beans, and healthy fats. The typical American diet is heavy on the meat, grains, and fats but light on the vegetables, fruits, and dairy products.
To see how your diet measures up, try keeping a food log for at least one day. Write down everything you eat and drink, and the amounts. Then see how many servings from each of the different food groups you ate, compared to what is recommended for a person of your age and weight. On that same USDA Web site, a section called MyPyramid Plan
can help you figure out how much you need from each food group, so you can devise a personalized plan.
So instead of trying a new diet this year, simply resolve to eat healthier. The keys are variety and portion control. Make small changes one at a time.
And tell someone you see everyday that you're changing your eating habits so they can keep you honest. You only have one body; make it a healthy one in 2008.