"Eat five different kinds of fruits and vegetables every day to recapture the disease-preventing phytochemicals missing in the American diet." - Dr. James Duke, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Concentrate on the outside aisles of grocery stores and in natural foods sections where the freshest whole foods are generally found.
Organize your shopping list by categories and, preferably, by aisles in the store.
"Vitamin and mineral supplements are no substitute for a variety of foods. ...Fruits, vegetables and grains contain a synergistic mix of micronutrients that haven't been duplicated in pills or capsules. Eating a wide range of foods from the plant kingdom is considered better than relying on supplements." - Dietary Guidelines for Americans, USDA
"The key that opens the door to variety and moderation is balance." - Stephanie Belling, M.D., Author of Power Foods
A simple formula for dietary improvement:
Follow these inexpensive, simple rules to improve your diet.
Consume the following:
When you buy packaged and prepared foods, read the labels carefully and consider the impact of that particular food on your day's food plan.
When the recipe calls for sugar, think about cutting back or substituting fruit.
Make your own substitution or alternatives list. For example, when the recipe calls for cream, substitute with evaporated skim milk. When your chili recipe calls for ground beef, you might think about substituting bulghur wheat or a meat substitute.
Substitute cooking methods when there is a more desirable way. For instance, there is no need to use a deep frying method to produce crisp flavorful potatoes; you can bake them at a high temperature instead. There is no need to thicken soups with cream; you can use pureed white beans, starch vegetables, or tofu instead.
Try ways to make vegetables or legumes your main course for some of your meals.
When eating out, don't think you are necessarily limited to the choices on the menu. Many chefs are happy to make changes and substitutions when you make a request.
Diet improvements for heart disease might include:
These foods represent good general choices for people without known food allergies or dietary restrictions. You should always check with your doctor or a dietician when planning changes in your diet.