The information contained below provides general guidelines for healthy eating. However, a dietitian may recommend other dietary guidelines based on your personal needs and medical condition.
Help yourself to foods high in fiber such as whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fresh fruits and vegetables.
These foods add essential vitamins and minerals to your daily diet, and contain insoluble fiber to keep your digestive system running smoothly.
Eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need.
The Food Guide Pyramid provides an example of the number of servings you should eat from each food group each day. If weight loss is desired, aim to select the lower number of recommended servings, but remember to select from all food groups daily.
Always look at nutrition labels when selecting foods.
Use package label information to help you to make the best selections for a healthy lifestyle. Remember that nutrition information is provided for a specific serving size; this may or may not be the serving amount you normally eat. The number of calories and grams of nutrients also are provided for the stated serving size. This is the part of the food label where you will find the amount of fat per serving.
Learn new ways to prepare foods without added fat.
Baking, boiling, broiling, roasting and grilling are good low-fat cooking methods. Frying foods in oil or butter will increase the calories and fat.
Try reducing foods that are high in salt including processed meats, luncheon meats, canned soups and soup mixes, frozen dinners, and marinated foods.
Too much sodium in the diet is linked to high blood pressure. Also, go easy on smoked, salt-cured and charbroiled foods. These foods contain high levels of nitrates, which have been linked to cancer.
Help your health!
Lose weight if you are overweight by cutting down on portion sizes and reducing foods high in fat—not by skipping meals.
We recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
Food guide pyramid
Select lean meat, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products. Also, a variety of grains, fruits and vegetables for adequate calories, vitamins and minerals.
Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is possible! Here are some suggestions:
You can burn up extra calories by exercising more. Make exercise a lifetime commitment. Begin by taking walks a few times a week—a brisk half-hour walk burns about 150 calories. Remember to check with your health care provider first before starting an exercise program. Your health care provider can help you find a program that matches your needs and physical condition.
Achieve your weight loss goal by losing weight gradually
Losing one to two pounds per week is a good rate of weight loss. People who lose weight slowly tend to keep the weight off. Strict diet plans can leave you feeling deprived and increase the temptation to binge.
Low-calorie diets may cause you to lose muscle instead of fat and do not provide enough essential nutrients. Stay away from "quick-fix" diets, as you will likely regain the weight.
Watch the fat and cholesterol content of foods
Fat should provide 30% or less of your total daily calories. Fats include cooking oils, margarine, butter, gravy, sauces, mayonnaise, regular salad dressings, sauces, lard, sour cream and cream cheese. Try the lower fat substitutes that are available for these foods.
Also, limit saturated fat to less than 10% of your total daily calories. Saturated fat raises cholesterol and increases your risk of heart disease. Saturated fat is found in fatty meats, whole milk, ice cream and cheese. Limit cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams (mg) or less per day.
Avoid whole milk products
You need at least 4 servings of milk products every day. However, using skim, 1 percent or 2 percent milk will greatly reduce the amount of calories and fat you eat. Also choose low-fat or fat-free cheese or yogurt.
Try to be realistic
Select a weight that’s possible to maintain and keep track of your progress. Remember, healthy changes in your eating and exercise habits will make you look and feel better in ways that don’t show up on the scale. Most importantly, don’t deprive yourself. Do not give up the foods you love—just eat them less often.
Have fresh fruit for snacks instead of foods high in sugar.
Fruit is generally low in calories, high in fiber and provides many essential vitamins. Another benefit of snacking on fresh fruit is that it helps satisfy your craving for "sweets."
Limit sweets and high calorie snacks
Cookies, candies, donuts, cakes, syrup, honey and potato chips provide many calories with little nutrition. Try not to eat these types of foods every day. Instead, try fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, angel food cake with strawberries, or pretzels as lower calorie snack and dessert choices.
Limit sweet or sugary drinks
Sweetened drinks such as pop, fruit punch, fruit drinks, iced tea, lemonade or powdered drink mixes provide many calories with little nutrients. Choose water, club soda, or mineral water to avoid extra calories.
When eating out at a fast food restaurant, choose lower fat items such as a broiled chicken breast sandwich with tomato and lettuce (no sauce or mayonnaise), side salad with low-fat dressing, plain bagels or a plain baked potato. Avoid fried foods such as french fries, mozzarella sticks or breaded chicken patties.
Yes, you can control your weight
To lose weight, you must use up more calories (energy) than you consume. To maintain your weight, the number of calories consumed and burned should be about the same. Stay active and don’t give up on your exercise plan. A positive attitude is very important for successful weight management. To lose weight permanently, you must make a commitment to gradually adopt a healthier "weigh" of life.
How can I make an appointment with a dietitian?
Registered dietitians are available in the hospital, at the Transplant Center, and also in the Department of Nutrition Therapy. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment with a dietitian, please call 216 444.3046, or 800.223.2273, ext. 43046.
Nutrition Hotline: 216.445.2710.
For More Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 216.444.8282. We will be happy to answer your questions.