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Have a More Healthful New Year With These 10 Nutrition Tips

As January begins, many people set goals to improve their health, and often that involves eating a more healthful diet. You can enjoy your meals while making small adjustments to the amounts of food on your plate. Which of these tips will work for you?
Have a More Healthful New Year With These 10 Nutrition Tips

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Get to know the foods you eat. Get tips and support for making better food choices from your local Extension Service office.

Take your time. Be mindful to eat slowly, enjoy the taste and textures, and pay attention to how you feel. Use hunger and fullness cues to recognize when to eat and when you’ve had enough. Remember, your brain needs at least 20 minutes to get the message that your stomach is full.

Use a smaller plate. Use a smaller plate at meals to help with portion control.

If you eat out, choose more healthful options. Check and compare nutrition information about the foods you are eating. Most fast-food restaurants post nutrition facts on their menus. Better yet, preparing food at home makes controlling what is in your meals easier to do.

Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthful way. Indulge in a naturally sweet dessert – fruit! Serve a fresh fruit cocktail or a fruit parfait made with yogurt. For a hot dessert, bake apples and top with cinnamon.

Choose to eat some foods more or less often. Choose more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or 1% milk and dairy products. Cut back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars and salt.

Find out what you need. Get your personalized plan at

Sip smarter. Drink water or other calorie-free beverages or fat-free milk when you are thirsty.

Compare foods. Compare Nutrition Facts labels at the grocery store.

Make treats “treats,” not everyday foods. Have a smaller piece, and limit sweet treats to special occasions.

Source: Adapted from

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Featured in Food Wise January 2013 (pdf).

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