Nutrition Articles

9 Noteworthy Nutrition Goals for the New Year

Eat More, Not Less!

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It’s hard to ignore the refreshing feeling a new year brings. It’s a chance to re-evaluate your life and think about where you might like to make changes. Statistics show that most resolutions don’t work, so we’re going dive into noteworthy goals for the new year. If you’re already a pro at setting goals (thanks to SparkPeople), then these nine ideas will help you kick start the year to higher health. Choose to focus on one, some or all nine throughout the year.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Research shows that increasing the number of fruits and veggies you eat, especially above the touted 5-a-day, decreases your risk of health ailments like high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This year, resolve to up your intake of produce to bring your disease risk down. More fruits and veggies mean more fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, plus more flavor and color added to your meals. Remember, when you’re adding more fruits and veggies to your diet, you can choose from fresh, frozen, canned, or dried varieties—just remember to buy packaged items without added sugar, oil or salt.
Get started: Aim for 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Get going this year by adding fruits and veggies to your diet! Put dried fruit in your chicken salad sandwich, frozen spinach in vegetarian lasagna, or double the diced peppers, mushroom and onions in your morning omelet. Every extra bit counts! To find out what counts as a serving, click here. Then use SparkPeople's QuickTrack tool to track your daily servings all year long.
Eat More Healthy Fats
It’s becoming better known (thankfully!) that the average American needs more Omega-3s, and that we should be consuming more heart-healthy unsaturated fat and less saturated fat. We've learned that unsaturated fats decrease inflammation in our bodies, which is linked to lower disease risk and better disease management. So what are you waiting for?
Get Started: Aim for at least 26 grams of healthy fat each day.
The USDA Dietary Guidelines advise that approximately 20% of your calories should come from unsaturated fats each day (and no more than 10% from saturated fat.) That's about 26-40 grams for people eating between 1,200 and 1,800 calories each day. Start by switching ground beef to tuna or salmon, and top your salad with slivered almonds instead of shredded cheese. You can also expand your use of avocado. Use the tasty fruit as a sandwich spread, whole-wheat cracker dip, salad topper or omelet partner. You can see your specific fat recommendations, and track your intake, on your SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker.
Pump Up Your Protein in the Morning
Our busy schedules mean we consume most of our protein in the latter half of the day. But protein keeps us full and energized, and our bodies constantly use this cell-building substance. Studies show that people who balance their protein distribution throughout the day are more successful at maintaining a healthy weight.
Get Started: Eat at least 15 grams of protein at breakfast.
Eat about 25% of your daily protein requirements at breakfast. That's 15 grams for someone eating 1,200 calories daily. (To discover and track your protein needs, visit your SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker.) To meet this goal, include foods like hard-boiled eggs, fat-free yogurt or Greek yogurt, and cheese made from 2% milk in your breakfast. Adding diced chicken to your eggs, or almonds to cereal can also help you rack up a few grams of protein in the a.m.
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About The Author

Sarah Haan Sarah Haan
Sarah is a registered dietitian with a bachelor's degree in dietetics. She helps individuals adopt healthy lifestyles and manage their weight. An avid exerciser and cook, Sarah likes to run, lift weights and eat good food. See all of Sarah's articles.

Member Comments

  • A lot of great suggestions for breakfast! - 1/17/2016 11:24:26 PM
  • Thanks for the many good pieces of advice. MY BIGGEST PROBLEM IS INCORPORATING ENOUGH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. - 1/16/2016 11:22:20 PM
    I've maintained an 80-lb.weight loss for over five years now - largely by implementing many, if not most, of the suggestions you've made here, Sarah. Prime among them has been an intake of 15-20 gms. of protein every morning and a rich abundance of both (non-terribly sweet, non-terribly starchy) produce. Blood tests normalized by doing so, too. Thank you! - 1/14/2016 9:36:33 PM
  • I hear a lot these days about the so-called paleolithic diet where you eat like early cave men. I tried that diet, and figured that cave men gorge down any food they find as quick as they can before some dinosaur comes and chases them away from it. Everyone says the cave-man diet works well for them but I actually gained weight on it. So now I'm going to try the pre-Cambrian diet, where all you eat is protozoa. - 1/14/2016 9:38:29 AM
    Thank you so much, SP, for including blogs about New Year's resolutions at the end of January. For some reason, I am never ready to set goals early in the year - I like to mull things over - but this is the time for me. So, thanks for the support! - 1/25/2015 8:27:21 AM
  • Thanks for sharing. - 1/15/2014 6:25:45 AM
  • Just the inspiration I was looking for. All thoughts framed in a positive manner. I will be revisiting this page frequently. - 1/5/2014 2:28:05 PM
    I think I am going to choose the first goal: eating more fruits and veggies.I like the advice of keeping a fruit bowl on the kitchen counter and moving produce to a better level in the fridge. - 1/4/2014 9:08:44 PM
  • Thanks for the tips. You validated my breakfast with mega proteins. All I need now is some way to increase my healthy carb intake, always low for me. - 1/4/2014 11:20:30 AM
  • Everything key packed into one article! How can I keep this at my finger tips? - 1/4/2014 7:58:24 AM
  • Excellent! I have some new goals for the year now! - 1/4/2014 3:04:38 AM
  • This is really good. I'm not totally there yet but this confirms that I am headed in the right direction!

    Thanks! - 1/3/2013 7:46:36 PM
  • Really exciting to read, very motivating. Here I go again! - 1/3/2013 3:41:46 PM
  • ONUTHIN125
    Awesome article! I am going back to Meatless Mondays and Fruit and Veggie Fridays! - 1/3/2013 2:12:00 PM
  • Great article!!! I am sharing this with my husband and friends. - 1/3/2013 12:48:49 PM

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