Knowing what to eat can be confusing. Everywhere you turn, there is news about what is or isn’t good for you. But a few basic tips have weathered the fad diets, and have withstood the test of time. Regardless of what cuisine you prefer, here’s what all healthy meal plans have in common. Explore the information below to learn the best and worst choices from each food group, so you’ll know what to focus on for meals and snacks. For more ideas visit http://bit.ly/MakingHealthyFoodChoices

Grains

Starchy Vegetables

Eat this:

  • Whole Oats
  • Whole Grain Corn
  • Popcorn
  • Brown Rice
  • Whole Rye
  • Whole Grain Barley
  • Wild Rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Quinoa

Avoid:

  • White Flour (high in sugar)
  • White Rice
  • White Bread

Eat this:

  • Plantain
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Acorn Squash
  • Butternut Squash
  • Green Peas
  • Corn

Avoid:

  • French Fries
  • Loaded Baked Potato

Dairy

Protein

Eat this:

  • Fat-free or low-fat (1%) Milk
  • Plain non-fat Yogurt (regular or Greek Yogurt)
  • Non-fat light Yogurt (regular or Greek Yogurt)
  • Unflavored Fortified Soy Milk

Avoid:

  • Whole Milk
  • Whole Yogurt

Eat this:

  • Dried Beans (black, lima, pinto)
  • Lentils
  • Dried Peas (black-eyed and split)
  • Fat-free Refried Beans
  • Vegetable Baked Beans
  • Fish and Seafood
  • Chicken and other Poultry
  • Meats
  • Soy Products
  • Cheese
  • Plant-based Proteins (Edamame, Nuts and Spreads like almond butter, cashew butter or peanut butter)

Avoid:

  • Red Meat
  • Fried Poultry

Drink this, not that!

Drink this:

  • Water: can be infused with cucumbers, oranges, strawberries, fresh mint, lemon
  • Zero-Calorie/Very Low-Calorie Drinks: such as lemonade, ice tea, fruit punch
  • Unsweetened Teas
  • Low-fat Milk
  • 100% Juice with no added sugars: such as Bai juice

Avoid:

  • Regular Soda
  • Fruit Punch
  • Energy Drinks
  • Sweet Tea
  • Sugary Drinks: such as a 12 ounces can/regular soda that contains 150 calories, 40 grams of carbs, and/or 10 teaspoons of sugar