Five Ways to Improve Your Diet (Before It Kills You)

By Wendy Bacigalupi-Bednarz, Editorial Contributor

Are you ready to kiss that killer diet goodbye?

It’s probably time, says Melissa Perry, a registered dietitian at Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center. “Poor diets are related to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, osteoporosis and obesity, among others.”

She suggests five easy ways to kick the killer diet and manage health risks so you can live longer.

1.  Avoid concentrated sweets and refined carbohydrates. Choose whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, beans and fruits. An ideal tactic for those with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.

2.  Replace high-sodium processed foods such as deli meats and cured meats with lean meats to help lower blood pressure. Add dried herbs and spices for flavor, instead of salt.

3. Limit saturated and trans fats to reduce cholesterol levels. Try olive oil and avocado oil in place of stick butter or palm oil.

4. Try dark leafy green vegetables, soybeans, low-fat milk and yogurt for more calcium that can help prevent osteoporosis. Get your vitamin D with fatty fish, such as salmon, and fortified dairy products.

5. Skip the empty calories of sugary foods. Choose whole-grain foods like whole-wheat breads, pasta, brown rice and oatmeal. They’re full of fiber and can help you avoid obesity by feeling satisfied and full longer.