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5 Small Dietary changes for Huge Improvement

The best dietary changes are gradual improvements you can incorporate easily into your lifestyle. Try these small changes for big effects.


1. Drink a glass of water before each meal

Staying hydrated is important for your energy, cognition, and digestion throughout the day. If you have difficulty drinking plain water, try infusing it with fruit or add a splash of juice to unflavored seltzer.


2. Make half your plate vegetables for 1 meal a day 

Eating more vegetables can help you lower cardiovascular disease mortality and cancer risk and reduce the inflammation in your body. Filling half your plate with vegetables will help you consume more fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Include non-starchy vegetables like asparagus, beets, broccoli, cucumber, and zucchini, or a fresh salad of kale, spinach, or romaine topped with tomatoes.  


3. Eat the rainbow

While you’re planning your plate, choose a wider variety of fruits and vegetables. Each color group is full of different vitamins and minerals. For example, red produce (beets, cherries) contains lycopene and anthocyanins while green (spinach, peas, and kiwi) contain vitamin K and lutein. Keeping your choices colorful can help you have a better-balanced diet. 


4. Eat a piece of fruit as a snack

Fruit is a great source of fiber and Vitamin C, low in calories and high in phytonutrients. Consuming fruit frequently can decrease your inflammation and risk for cardiovascular and cancer. Stocking your fruit bowl at home with fresh fruit can remind you to choose fruit throughout the day. Pack yourself a whole piece like an apple or prepare a fruit salad.


5. Replace red meat with fish once a week

Fish, especially fatty fish like salmon, is an excellent source of protein and omega 3’s fatty acids. Eating a lot of red meat, especially processed meats, has been linked with cardiovascular risk and most recently may even be carcinogenic. Consuming 1-2 servings of fish per week can decrease your risk of coronary death by greater than one third according to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Try grilled or broiled fish with lemon and topped with fresh herbs. 

Those with Lupus are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease. Making these recommendations your daily habit can help prevent stroke or heart attack in the future.


What You Can Do

Other small changes to try

-       Eat breakfast 1 more day a week than you usually do

-       Keep a food diary to notice trends

-       Choose a whole grain instead of refined grain 1x/day

-       Replace 1 canned food with a frozen food in your next grocery trip

-       Use the salad plate and fork instead of dinner plate to help yourself practice portion control. After your first plate, check in with your body to accurately gauge how much you'd like to consume.


What You Should Know

Make your goal SMART to increase your chances of success: 

- Specific - plan the details to prepare yourself to follow through

-  Measurable - quantify your progress

-  Attainable - can you actually accomplish the goal? 

-  Realistic - is this goal something worthwhile to you? Are you ready for this change? 

-  Timely - give yourself a deadline

If you're ready for more personalized help with your diet - contact me today!


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