Simple Nutrition Goals on Your 2018 To Do List!

It’s the year of 2018! What’s on your to do list this year? Here are 5 simple nutrition goals to kick off the year with fresh and healthy start.

1. Start fresh
Start your grocery shopping list with veggies and fruits on top. At the grocery store, shop at the fresh produce section first, and pick up at least 3 different types of veggies and 2 types of fruits. Choose different colors for additional health benefits from phytochemicals.

2. Eat a nourishing breakfast
Breakfast is important because it is the first meal of the day to provide our body with energy and nutrients. A well balanced breakfast with adequate protein is not only satisfying but also regulates your appetite during the day. A nourishing breakfast should include at least 3 food groups from the 5 food groups, including grains, protein, dairy, vegetables, and fruits. It can be as simple as a bowl of oatmeal made with low fat milk and with toppings such as raisins, bananas, chopped nuts and seeds. 

3. Eat more plant-based protein  
Most sources of plant-based protein are lower in fat and calories and higher in fiber. They are also naturally little or free in cholesterol. Good sources of plant-based protein are legumes, lentils, soy products such as tofu and soy milk, whole grains such as quinoa and barley, and nuts and seeds. Simply start by planning your meals with a plant-based entree, such as stir-fry broccoli with tofu, or eating a handful of mixed nuts and seeds for snacks. 

4. Choose more whole grain
Whole grains and whole grain products are generally higher in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that are beneficial to health. Some examples of whole grains are brown rice, oats, barley, corn, buckwheat, quinoa; whole grain products such as whole wheat bread/pasta, granola, and bran flakes. Start by substituting the side of white rice with brown rice every other day. The goal is to make half your grains whole grains.

5. Plan your meals in advance
Plan your meals and snacks a week ahead. Choose foods that are quick and easy to prepare. Make yourself a grocery list and write down what you need to buy according to your meal plan. This saves time, money, energy, and reduce food waste! Below is a 2-day sample meal plan to help you get started!

By Ian Lei Chan, RDN , Hazel Ng, RD CDE

Copyright © | Bor S. Luh Food Safety Research Center  of Shanghai Jiao Tong University 2015