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Dr. Frank’s Top 3 Diet Resolutions for 2015

Welcome to the New Year! If you kick-started this month with a long list of do’s and don’ts, you are not alone. Most of us have high hopes for what we plan to do, eat, spend, and earn in the year ahead. And while it’s smart to set these goals, the key to keeping them up lies not so much in what your goals are—large or small, measurable or general, diligently tracked or unaccounted for—but purely how many you set.

The science of psychology shows us that the best way to change a behavior is to focus on one goal at a time. That’s right, pick one New Year’s diet resolution that counts, and you’ll be more likely to turn it into a healthy habit that continues year-round. Now, before you scramble to find that list you wrote in order to star your favorites, consider choosing one from our top 3 diet resolutions this year… straight from the doctor’s office.

Meet Dr. Brian Frank, MD. He practices family medicine with an emphasis in nutrition as preventative medicine. We asked Dr. Frank what his top resolutions would be for a healthier 2015, and here’s how he ranked the goals:

1.  VEG OUT

Not on the couch that is, but with a veggie packed plate! With new diet trends around every corner, it can be tricky to sort the facts from the fluff. So stick to one piece of science-based nutrition advice that has consistently shown health benefits over the last century: Diets high in fruits and vegetables can improve health and prevent disease.[1] This month, make it your goal to eat one cup of veggies with each meal. Stretch yourself by trying one you’ve never cooked before. Rutabagas, anyone?

2. SPOT SNEAKY SUGARS

Large quantities of sugar in the diet can cause inflammation in your body, putting you at risk for a number of chronic illnesses.[2] While by now, we all know to stay away from soda, even savvy shoppers can get tripped up by shrewd marketing. Just flip over that box of “healthy” cereal to see for yourself. This year, when your sweet craving hits, reach for a whole fruit or handful of berries!

3. GIMME WHOLE GRAINS

Just like whole fruits and veggies, whole grains are rich in fiber, which slows the release of carbohydrates into your system. What’s more, whole grains help lower cholesterol, improve digestion, and even reduce the risk of some cancers.[3] One day each week, try replacing your breakfast cereal with a bowl of slow-cooked oatmeal sprinkled with chia or hemp seeds for added omega-3 and protein. If you like it sweet, mash up a banana or toss in fresh or frozen blueberries, and cook it right in with the oats.

That’s a wrap! Just remember: Keep it simple to see positive changes in 2015. One goal, one day, one bite at a time. We wish you a Happy and Healthier New Year!

Brian Frank, MD, is a Guest Expert with The Heart’s Kitchen.

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