The new Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020 provide some practical suggestions and examples of small easy ways in which shifts can be made in one’s daily food choices to move towards healthier eating patterns. Examples of this would be choosing nutrient-dense snacks over high calorie snacks, fruit instead of commercially processed fruit products with added sugars, whole grains instead of refined grains, oils instead of solid fats, salted to unsalted snacks, as well as no-sugar added beverages instead of beverages with added sugars.
Specific ideas (from the Dietary Guidelines with some additional suggestions):
Instead of – Choose this –
Tortilla chips with cheese dip Carrots with hummus dip
Sour cream dip Guacamole or salsa
Fruit-filled cereal bar Apple or another whole fruit
White bread Whole-wheat bread
White pasta Whole-wheat pasta
Chocolate bar with nuts Unsalted cashews
Bacon bits on salads Avocado slices
Butter in frying pan Vegetable oil in frying pan
Regular soda/pop Seltzer water or other no added sugar beverage
Microwaveable popcorn Pop your own on the stove!
French fries or chips with entree Salad or fruit with entrée
Other practical tips provided from the Guidelines include increasing the amount of vegetables in a mixed dish while simultaneously reducing the amount of meats, saturated fats and
(Source: Department of Health and Human Services and United States Department of Agriculture, Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, 8th edition. http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines. Accessed March 24, 2016.)