Eat small meals every few hours (2.5 to 4 hours) or eat 3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks distributed throughout the day (Rationale)

  • See Exchange Lists for food groups
    • Eat 3 food groups every meal
    • Eat 2 food groups every snack
  • Plan meals around moderate or intense exercise
    • Plan snack or meal 1 to 2 hours before
    • Eat higher carbohydrates meal very soon after exercise (Rationale)
      • carbohydrates and quality proteins in approximately a 4:1 ratio
      • post-workout meal should be 10 – 20% of total daily caloric intake
      • eat a Starch or Fruit exchange for carbohydrates

Eat protein every meal and snack

Eat fruits or vegetables every meal and snack (Rationale)

  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables (see vegetables and starchyvegetables)
    • See Vegetable and Fruit Color Codes
  • Eat vitamin C rich foods
    • At least 1 serving a day
    • Citrus fruit, tomatoes, fresh melons, strawberries
  • Eat cruciferous vegetables (cabbage family)
    • At least 3 servings per week
    • Cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, cress, and bok choy
  • Eat vitamin A rich foods
    • At least 1 serving every other day
    • Dark leafy greens, and dark yellow foods

Eat foods with fiber (Rationale)

  • Whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and legumes (beans, peas, lentils)

Eat calcium rich foods

  • Milk, yogurt, cheese
  • Green leafy vegetables, kelp, bean sprouts, tofu, garbanzo beans, canned salmon, sardines, or jack mackerel (with tiny bone particles), oysters, figs, almonds, chestnuts, filberts, sesame seeds.

Eat healthy fats and limit less healthy fats

  • Include sources of Omega-3 fats
    • fatty fish, walnuts, flax seed, chia seeds, avocado, beans, winter squash
  • Consume mono-unsaturated fats
    • olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, olives, avocado, almonds, cashews, pecans, peanuts, sesame seeds
  • Consume poly-unsaturated fats (other than Omega-3) in small or only moderate amounts
    • salad dressing, mayonnaise, corn oil, safflower oil
  • Keep saturated fat intake low (Rationale)
    • Eat leaner meats or meat substitutes
    • Lower fat milk and yogurt
    • Choose lower fat snacks
  • Eliminate hydrogenated fat (used in products to increase shelf life)
    • Check food labels

Limit refined foods

  • Eat whole foods whenever possible
  • limit white bread, cereals, and other processed foods
  • limit sugar consumption
    • found in soda pop, juices, and sweets
    • check food labels to detect hidden sugars
      • see finding sugar on food labels
  • limit alcohol consumption to no more than one serving per day

Limit cured and smoked products

  • Salt-cured, smoked, nitrite cured foods

Avoid plastic food and beverage containers (Rationale)

  • Particularly when choosing and storing acidic foods or foods containing fats
  • Especially when heating food in microwave
  • Avoid commercially canned foods and aluminum cans with plastic linings

Eat a variety of foods from each food group every day (Rationale)

  • Try new foods