A good diet, Romano explained, consists of plenty fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy.
“We also need to be aware when we’re eating with our ‘eyes’ instead of our stomachs,”
Romano said. “Children are much better about following their body’s cues for fullness. Adults
need to take a cue from them and pay attention when their body feels full.”
Adults also need to realize they shouldn’t eat when they’re not hungry. At the same time, they need to be careful not to overfeed their children or force them to eat when they’re not hungry, Romano indicated.
“It’s not always easy to eat the right portion sizes in our American culture,” Romano said. “With oversized dinner plates and cups we use for serving, as well as the huge portions served by most restaurants, it can be a real challenge to eat right.”
For instance, Romano indicated that an appropriate portion size of lean meat is equal to around three ounces, or about the size of a deck of cards.
“People who are trying to eat healthier need to be very aware of how much they eat,” Romano said. “They also need to be aware of what they eat.”
Romano suggested that adults use smaller plates when eating, since less food will be required to actually fill the plate. People also need to eat fewer “empty” calories, or calories that come from high-sugar and high-fat contents.
“It’s okay to sometimes eat foods we enjoy,” Romano explained. “But we do need to eat less of them and to avoid oversized portions in general.”
“There are so many benefits to eating nutritiously,” she added. “Not only will you maintain a healthy weight, but you will also help prevent diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and a long list of other diseases. We should all make it a priority to eat healthier and become more physically active.”
For more information about health and nutrition, access the OSU Cooperative Extension Service’s Fact Sheet data base at osufactsheets.okstate.edu.