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Healthy Food Preparation

Healthy Food Preparation

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Healthy eating is important at every age. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy or fortified soy alternatives. When deciding what to eat or drink, choose options that are full of nutrients and limited in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium. Start with these tips:

Think balance

Include a variety of delicious foods from all five food groups – fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy or fortified soy alternatives – when making meals.

Chop fresh produce in advance

Cut up fresh fruits like melons and pineapples, and veggies like carrots and broccoli, when you have a few minutes. Store them in the fridge for meals and snacks.

Bake, grill, broil, or roast

Limit frying – especially deep frying – to reduce saturated fat and calories in the dishes you make. Most recipes can be adapted for healthier cooking methods.

Sweeten foods with fruit

Mix fruit into plain yogurt, cooked oatmeal, and smoothies to sweeten without adding sugar. Or, use that plain yogurt, uncooked oats, and fruit for some overnight oats.

Find more flavor

Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to cooked vegetables and meat, chicken, or fish. Experiment with low-salt herbs and spices.

Read food labels

Use the Nutrition Facts label to find out how much added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium (salt) are in the packaged foods you eat. Adjust your cooking methods and other ingredients accordingly.

The benefits of healthy eating add up over time, bite by bite.

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MyPlate.gov is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025