Most people would welcome the suggestion by their healthcare professional to “Eat more!” Of course, this message is in the context of a healthy diet, but Americans should certainly be eating more foods containing these nutrients:
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamin D
Americans generally don’t get enough of these vitamins and minerals because they don’t meet the recommended intakes of vegetables, fruits, fiber-rich whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk and milk products.
To help get the important nutrients needed in your daily meals and snacks, the American Heart Association recommends eating:
- 4½ cups of fruits and vegetables per day.
- 3 or more one-ounce servings of fiber-rich whole grains/day.
- 2 or more servings (3.5 oz./serving) of fish/week (preferably oily fish).
To help you improve your eating pattern the American Heart Association recommends:
- Choosing lean meats, skinless chicken and vegetable alternatives.
- Selecting fat-free, low-fat (1%) milk and milk products.
- Limiting saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars.
Here are some tips on how to eat the nutrient-rich way and meet the American Heart Association’s recommended servings through delicious food:
- Eat breakfast
- Start the day off right! People who eat breakfast (instead of skipping it) generally eat healthier throughout the day.
- Try to include one fiber-rich whole grain, some fruit and some fat-free dairy. Nutrient-rich breakfasts include:
- Oatmeal with fat-free milk, raisins and cinnamon.
- Whole grain toast with low-fat, low sodium cheese and an apple.
- Fat-free yogurt (no added sugar) topped with frozen blueberries and whole grain cereal (like O-shaped toasted oats).
- Milk and milk products are rich in calcium, potassium and vitamin D; most fruits and vegetables are sources of fiber, potassium, magnesium and folate; whole grains contain folate and fiber.
- Eat more food (volume) with high-fiber foods
- Big bowls of soup or stew contain liquids, which help fill you up; foods rich in fiber do, too.
- To find fiber-rich recipes, plug “beans,” or any vegetable into the Search box at heart.org.
- Beans and most vegetables contain potassium, fiber and folate.
Article copyright © 2014 American Heart Association. This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association's Simple Cooking with Heart © Program. For more articles and simple, quick and affordable recipes, visit heart.org/simplecooking.