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Maintaining New Year’s Resolutions: Four Common Sense Measures for Healthy Eating

The New Year is a few weeks old and already those shiny New Year’s resolutions may be starting to fade. Are you one of the millions of people who resolved to make healthy eating a priority? One of the factors making it hard to stick with your resolution could be the confusing and contradictory nature of dietary advice. Are we supposed to be eating like cavemen now…or was it Mediterraneans?

That’s why I was glad to come across this helpful piece from the Washington Post that identifies four common sense measures for healthy eating nutritionists agree on.

What tops the list? Eat more vegetables! As you know if you read this blog regularly, increased consumption of vegetables has benefits for both physical and emotional health. In fact, as the author of the article put it, “Thanks to their bounty of protective and healing nutrients, you can essentially name the…malady, and studies show eating vegetables reduces your chances of getting it.” And if losing weight was on your resolution list, you’ll be happy to know that the fiber and water content of vegetables makes them filling, helping you resist less healthy foods.

Unfortunately, many Americans are missing out on the health benefits of vegetables. According to the CDC, on average we eat vegetables only 1.6 times a day. And a quarter of American adults eat less than a serving a day! That’s far less than the 7-13 servings of fruits and vegetables recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Eating more vegetables is one of the most important things you can do if you want to be healthy in 2015. Lately, I’ve been enjoying eating smoked salmon with cream cheese on whole grain crackers and a big bowl of broccoli for breakfast. That way, I get in two servings of veggies before lunchtime, not to mention my omega-3s!

Incidentally, the next recommendation is to increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthful fats are found in a variety of foods. The best source is cold-water fatty fish (think salmon, mackerel, and tuna), but vegetarians take heart: you can also get them from walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds. The main benefit of omega-3s is to reduce inflammation, which is thought to be the culprit in many diseases, including heart disease. Another kind of healthy fat is the monounsaturated fat found in avocados. So dig into that guacamole!

How many of you can relate to the third common-sense measure? Reduce your consumption of added sugars. As a nation, we eat too much sugar. Way too much. Not only do we over-indulge in desserts and sodas, but there’s hidden sugar in many of the processed foods we eat. That’s a problem not only because of the extra calories, but because sugar is thought to contribute to various diseases, most obviously to diabetes, which is on the rise. Sugar is my main health vice, and I’m determined to kick the sugar habit this year!

And finally, it’s just a no-brainer to eat fewer processed foods. The closer a food is to its original form, the better it probably is for you. Whole grains are better than white flour, an orange is better than a glass of orange juice, and a baked potato is better than a bag of chips.

Juice Plus+ is a great way to supplement healthy eating resolutions, with added nutrition from 30 fruits, vegetables and grains. However, just as many people who make New Year’s resolutions let them fall by the wayside, many new Juice Plus+ consumers don’t take the product long enough to feel its full benefits and end up quitting. It really takes about four months for many folks, so if you started taking Juice Plus+ on New Year’s Day, consider making a commitment to taking it until you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo (May 5) — with heart-healthy guacamole of course!

How will you maintain your New Year’s resolutions? How long did it take for you to notice the benefits of Juice Plus+? Share your stories. 

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