When the holiday season comes to a close, many people set the goal of prioritizing their health in the new year. After a month of peppermint treats and heavy appetizers, new years resolutions oftentimes include cleaning up diets and including exercise habits in our daily routine.
As a registered dietitian, I typically suggest that people start their wellness journey by implementing 2-3 changes in their lifestyle at a time to avoid an overwhelming experience. Once these new changes have been mastered, more tips can be added.
To help you kickstart your healthy 2022, here are five tips that can help you support your health in a sustainable and approachable way.
1. Include Fish in Your Diet Every Week
Experts who created the Dietary Guidelines for Americans highlight that most adults should be eating around 8 ounces of fish every week. But unfortunately, most people are not coming close to that goal. And because many fish choices are a good source of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and protein, it is unfortunate that so many people are missing the mark. Eating fish is linked to a slew of health benefits, including a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.
Including fish in your diet is simple to do with a little pre-planning. Sure, you can grab a filet at your local fish market. But if you are strapped for time, keeping good-for-you options on-hand in your freezer can be a lifesaver on busy nights. Greensbury Market Salmon, cod, and tuna are all excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids and are super-simple to prep.
2. Include Lean Cuts of Beef in Your Diet
If you are a beef lover, know that certain cuts can be a fantastic part of a healthy and balanced diet. As a natural source of iron, protein, zinc, and vitamin B12, beef is jam-packed with key nutrients.
While some cuts of beef can contain large amounts of saturated fats, leaner cuts are perfectly acceptable to enjoy when focusing on your health. Greensbury Market flank steak and Top Sirloin are two excellent options for lean beef that compliment any good-for-you diet.
3. Don’t Skip Breakfast
If you are a breakfast skipper, including this meal in your daily routine can be one step to wellness that takes very little effort. Including breakfast can have a profound impact on your entire diet. As highlighted by recent data, eating breakfast consistently is linked to a greater intake of many nutrients, including folate, calcium, and iron. And on the other side of the spectrum, breakfast skippers appear to eat significantly more calories, carbohydrates, total and saturated fat, and added sugars during lunch, dinner, and snacks than breakfast eaters.
A quick bowl of oatmeal or yogurt parfait are excellent grab-and-go options for breakfast on busy mornings. And for a more hearty meal, including options like Greensbury Market antibiotic-free breakfast sausage can help start your day with a protein boost.
4. Don’t Skip Your Favorite Foods
We all know that eating large amounts of sweets and treats every single day is not a wise choice when it comes to supporting our health. But giving up your favorite foods cold-turkey may lead to overindulging in the long run.
Allowing yourself to have reasonable portion sizes of your favorite foods once in a while can help you stick to your goals in the long run. So, indulge in that piece of birthday cake or that slice of pizza on occasion. Your health will be better for it over time.
5. Use Herbs and Spices Instead of Salt
Americans eat on average about 3,400 mg of sodium per day, despite the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommending a limit of fewer than 2,300 mg. And too much sodium in a diet is linked to an increased risk of developing hypertension and other cardiac challenges.
Adding salt to dishes is one of the worst culprits to adding sodium to our diets. Instead of depending on that salt shaker, lean on more natural flavor enhancements like garlic, turmeric, and basil to make your dishes flavorful with no added salt or sodium.
New Years resolutions don’t have to mean giving your entire lifestyle an overhaul or doing without your favorite foods. With some simple tweaks in your dietary choices, you can be on your way to living your healthiest year yet. If your goal is to support your health in 2022, including these tips can have a profound impact, despite them being easy small changes to tackle.
Lauren Manaker is an award-winning registered dietitian based in Charleston, South Carolina. She earned a bachelor's degree and master's degree in human nutrition and is passionate about helping people achieve their nutrition goals. She currently acts as a consultant, food blogger, and freelance writer for outlets including Eating Well and POPSUGAR. When Lauren isn't working, she is enjoying the outdoor life with her daughter, husband, and rescue-pup.