Here’s some good news: Eating healthier doesn’t mean you have to give up all the foods you love. It doesn’t have to be confusing or complicated either. In this article, we recommend a better approach—make small shifts in the foods you eat. Here’s how to do it.
What Are Healthy Shifts?
It’s simple. When you can, swap out a food or ingredient for a healthier option. For example, you could:
- Shift from whole milk to low-fat milk in your breakfast cereal
- Shift from soda with added sugars to water during lunch
- Shift from a cream-based pasta dish to one with a lighter sauce and more vegetables for dinner
How Will Making Shifts Help?
Healthy eating patterns can help prevent chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes.
Shifting to healthier choices doesn’t mean you have to change your whole eating pattern. Shifts can be easier to stick with over time— you’re just making small changes to the way you’re already eating.
Make Shifts Throughout the Day
You have a chance to make a healthier choice whenever you: Open your fridge for a snack; Shop in the grocery store; Stand at a vending machine; Pack a lunch; Look at a menu in a restaurant; Cook a favorite recipe
Take advantage of these everyday opportunities to make a shift. Everything you eat and drink matters. Over time, little changes in the foods and drinks you choose can have big health benefits.
Try Out These Shifts
The shifts below will help you stay on track.
How to Eat More Whole Grains: Choose whole-wheat bread instead of white; Have popcorn for a snack instead of potato chips (just leave out the butter and salt)
How to Cut Down on Saturated Fats: Twice a week, have seafood instead of fatty cuts of meat for dinner; When you’re making chili or stew, reduce the amount of meat; and add more beans and vegetables
How to Cut Down on Added Sugars: Give your kids 100% juice or water instead of fruit punch; Have a homemade fruit smoothie instead of ice cream
How to Cut Down on Sodium (Salt): Switch to unsalted nuts; Shift from regular canned soups to low-sodium
How to Use Oils Instead of Solid Fats: Dip your whole-wheat bread in olive oil instead of spreading on butter; Choose an oil-based salad dressing instead of cream-based
What Shift Will You Make Today?
Want to learn more about shifts and how to find a healthy eating pattern that works for your family? Check out the Pinggang Pinoy food guide developed by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), which has more information. (http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph/index.php/tools-and-standard/pinggang-pinoy)