However, making major changes to your diet can sometimes seem very overwhelming, here are some tips to guide you:
1. Eat three healthy meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner); it is important to remember that dinner does not have to be the largest meal.
2. The bulk of food consumption should consist of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products.
3. Incorporate lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts (with emphasis on beans and nuts) into a healthy diet
4. Choose foods that are low in saturated fats trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars; look at the labels because the first listed items on the labels comprise the highest concentrations of ingredients.
5. Control portion sizes; eat the smallest portion that can satisfy hunger and then stop eating.
6. Healthy snacks are ok in moderation and should consist of items like fruit, whole grains, or nuts to satisfy hunger and not cause excessive weight gain.
7. Avoid sodas and sugar-enhanced drinks
8. Avoid eating a large meal before sleeping to decrease gastroesophageal reflux and weight gain.
9. If a person is angry or depressed, eating will not solve these situations and may make the underlying problems worse.
10. Avoid rewarding children with sugary snacks; such a pattern may become a lifelong habit for people.
11. Avoid heavy meals in the summer months, especially during hot days.
12. A vegetarian lifestyle has been promoted for a healthy lifestyle and weight loss; vegetarians should check with their physicians to be sure they are getting enough vitamins, minerals, and iron in their diet.
13. Cooking foods (above 165 F) destroys most harmful bacteria and other pathogens; if you choose to eat uncooked foods like fruits or vegetables, they should be thoroughly washed with running treated (safe to drink) tap water right before eating.
14. Avoid eating raw or undercooked meats of any type.
15. For those trying to lose weight (body fat) should avoid all fatty and sugary foods and eat mainly vegetables, fruits, and nuts and markedly reduce his/her intake of meat and dairy products.
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