It’s no secret that Americans’ diets could use some improvement. Currently, the USDA recommends that for the average 2,000-calorie diet, individuals should consumer 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day.
The USDA also reported that good nutrition is vital to good health and is essential for the healthy growth and development of children and adolescents. To help improve your current health and prevent certain disease, there are plenty of easy ways to eat a little more green in your diet.
Meatless Monday. Once a week, replace one serving of meat with a serving (or a few) of vegetables. Instead of grilled hamburgers, try veggie burgers and instead of a chili fulled with meat, opt for a vegetarian chili.
Say yes to salad. Whenever you eat in a restaurant, you can always ask the server to substitute a side salad or vegetable for the starchy side dish offered with your meal, even if it’s something that sounds innocent, like a baked potato. Restaurants often cook with more butter or oil than you would at home so opt for fresh veggies whenever possible.
Think outside the box. According to registered dietitian Tina Ruggiero, the easiest way to grow bored with a healthy diet is by getting stuck in a rut. “I tell my clients to try at least one new kind of fruit each week,” she said. “We can’t expect change our habits if we don’t step out of our comfort zones.”
Eat fruit for dessert. If you are craving something sweet, a fresh, juicy apple, tangy pear or handful of orange slices can be just as satisfying as a fat piece of cake. Save the calorie traps for special occasions.