By Carolyn Malcoun
Why not attack the age-old “lose weight” and “eat healthier” resolutions from a different perspective and cut them into more manageable pieces? It could actually work! Here are 5 do-able New Year’s resolutions for a healthier you this year.
Resolution 1. Eat More Omega-3s
Solution: Seek out seafood.
Getting more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids might just help you keep your blood pressure down. In the multinational INTERMAP study, researchers found that among 4,680 healthy adults, those who consumed the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in their diets had the lowest rates of hypertension. Research also suggests that omega-3s can help improve your mood, which we all need a little help with in the short, dark days of winter. Aim to get two servings of fish a week, particularly fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and some types of tuna, which are rich in omega-3s. Not a fish lover? Opt for walnuts and flax, which are good nonfish sources of omega-3s.
Resolution 2. Pile On The Veggies
Solution: Get out the roasting pan.
The majority of Americans don’t eat the daily recommended 3 or more servings of vegetables, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you’re of the mindset that “vegetables don’t taste good,” but know you should eat more of them since they’re teeming with healthy nutrients and fiber (more about fiber below), get out your roasting pan. Roasting vegetable caramelizes their natural sugars so they taste fantastic. It’s an easy way to cook veggies for dinner—pop a pan of them in the oven and make the rest of dinner while they roast.
Resolution 3. Up Your Fiber Intake
Solution: Experiment with whole grains.
Getting enough fiber may help prevent cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and a number of cancers. And eating more fiber may help you slim down. But the average American eats about 14 grams of day—the recommended daily intake is 21 to 38 grams. One of the easiest ways to up your fiber intake is to eat more whole grains. Quinoa, whole-wheat couscous, bulgur and polenta are all quick-cooking options to add to your weeknight repertoire.
Resolution 4. Eat Less Meat
Solution: Learn to like tofu more.
A popular reason to cut back on meat is for environmental reasons, but you’ll be helping your heart too. When you replace meat with soy, you’ll naturally eat less saturated fat—and research shows that saturated fat increases LDL. While tofu might not have a real “flavor,” that’s what makes it so versatile—it soaks up the flavors of a stir-fry sauce or marinade like a sponge, making it taste terrific!
Resolution 5. Rein in Your Sugar Addiction
Solution: Make low-sugar treats to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Americans eat too much sugar. We consume 355 calories—or 22 teaspoons—of added sugars a day. The American Heart Association advises that we eat much, much less than that. Luckily, you can still make treats that satisfy your sweet tooth and cut back on your sugar intake at the same time.