Healthy Eating in an Imperfect World

No time to eat right? WebMD has the solution.

By Dulce Zamora
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

Eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Choose whole-grain, nonfat, or low-fat foods. Be physically active daily. Watch calories. Limit the fat. Get enough calcium.

We live in a world with a dizzying amount of scientific research pointing to foods and habits that make for good health. In an ideal universe, that's good news. If we exercise and eat right, we give our bodies essential nourishment and movement to work at their best.

Yet our world is far from ideal. There are responsibilities, deadlines, and food or lifestyle preferences that get in the way of healthy eating. Real life happens, and in the rush to satisfy daily hunger and desires, we may succumb to less-than-healthy choices.

It doesn't always have to be that way. No matter what our lives are like, there's always room for improvement.

"There is always something positive that can be done for our health," says Sue Moores, MSRD, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association (ADA). "Maybe it's eating an extra fruit a day, maybe it's cooking a food a different way, or maybe it's (trying) a new food that's out that we didn't know much about because of all the ethnic influences."

Making an effort to eat healthy does not mean abandoning our lives. Find a few minutes to think about a small nutrition goal, how you think you can reach it, and what can prevent you from success. Then devise a plan.