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5 nutrition tips for a healthier you

Ready to jumpstart your health? Here are five nutrition tips to get you on the right track:

1. Eat whole foods.  If you want to eat better, choose foods that are in their natural form and avoid processed foods.

“If you can’t read it, don’t eat it,” says Khalilah Johnson, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Piedmont Fayette Hospital. “Foods with a lot of preservatives and chemicals often have long lists of ingredients that are hard to pronounce.”

Eat whole grains, add lots of fruits and vegetables to your diet and find ways to replace poor choices with better ones.

2. A healthy gut is a happy gut. Eat foods that contain probiotics, which can aid digestion and create and maintain a good balance of healthy bacteria in your gut.

A large portion of your immune system is in your gut, so keeping it healthy is of the utmost importance.

Probiotics are found in natural foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, sourdough and, sometimes in dark chocolate.

3. Avoid sugary drinks.  Sodas, sports beverages, or even sweet tea can add too much sugar, calories or salt to your diet. Fruit juice doesn’t give you the fiber or nutrients you need.

“The best bet is water,” says Ting Deng, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Piedmont Fayette Hospital. “Water has zero calories, zero sugar and zero chemicals. It also can help you feel full and help your organs work properly.”

Try to drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day.  

4. Eat the rainbow.  Try a variety of fruits and vegetables, especially of those of different colors, to keep things fresh and interesting. If the thought of piling fruit on to your plate doesn’t seem appealing, add them to ice cream, yogurt or smoothies. And if you don’t like veggies, try roasting them or dipping them in a small amount of dressing for additional flavor.

5. Less is more. Portion size is one of the biggest problems facing Americans who are trying to lose weight. When dining out, set aside half of your meal immediately. Not only does this give you lunch or dinner for tomorrow, but you won’t overeat today.

When eating at home, use a smaller plate. Divide your plate, putting fruits and vegetables on one half and using the other half for a whole grain and a protein.

Try keeping a journal to track your meals. Once you become conscious of your caloric intake, it becomes much easier to make better decisions.

Need to make an appointment with a Piedmont physician? Save time, book online.

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