4/7/2023 | By Cynthia Sass

Nutrition trends and fads will continue to come and go. But if your aim is to eat healthy in the long run, your best bet is to focus on habits you can stick with. These 6 easy healthy eating habits are simple to adopt and can have big health payoffs down the line.

Easy healthy eating habits to enjoy

1. Embrace avocados.

Avocados are nutrient powerhouses chock-full of monounsaturated fatty -acids that support heart health and benefit cholesterol levels. Avocados are also high in fiber and provide a suite of vitamins and minerals, including potassium and magnesium. Add avocado to salads and sandwiches or puree with a little vinegar, garlic and herbs to make a creamy dressing. You can even include avocados in dessert such as chocolate pudding.

2. Opt for plant protein several times a week.

Plant-based eating patterns are associated with a host of health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. That’s precisely why pulses (the umbrella term for beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas) are an excellent replacement for meat: they’re a good source of protein, high in fiber and incredibly nutrient-rich. You can replace 3 to 4 ounces of meat with 1/2 to 1 cup of pulses in dishes like chili, stir-fries, burgers and meatballs.

3. Make nuts a go-to snack.

Nuts are a near-perfect snack, rich in unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and a variety of compounds that have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Eating a variety of nuts can support healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels and help people maintain a healthy weight. And don’t forget peanuts: although technically a legume, they are also packed with nutrients. Raw or roasted unsalted nuts are best. Aim for 1/4 cup out of the shell (about the size of a golf ball) or 2 tablespoons of nut butter per snack.

4. Incorporate veggies into every meal.

Eating more vegetables may be the single most important dietary change you can make, as eating 7 to 10 servings per day of fruits and vegetables is tied to a significantly lower risk of heart disease and stroke and a slightly lower risk of cancer. A simple way to hit the mark is to include veggies in every meal and snack—even breakfast. And don’t discount frozen vegetables!

6 easy healthy eating habits

5. Enjoy berries as a daily staple.

Berries are full of antioxidants known to combat inflammation and protect against cell damage that leads to a number of diseases, including cancer, heart disease and neuro-degenerative disorders. They are also high in fiber and are great sources of vitamin C and potassium. Of particular interest is their role in brain health: a 20-year-long study of more than 16,000 older adults found that those who ate the most blueberries and strawberries experienced the slowest rates of cognitive decline. Aim for 1 cup of berries a day, and consider frozen too!

6. Go ahead, enjoy some dark chocolate!

There are plenty of reasons to have a bit of dark chocolate as a daily ritual. Magnesium, which is found in dark chocolate, is tied to better sleep quality in women and a reduced risk of depression. Raw cocoa powder (aka non-Dutched, nonalkalized or natural) is another way to take advantage of chocolate’s powerful benefits.

EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at

©2023 Dotdash Meredith. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Read similar healthy eating articles on Seniors Guide like this one: The Psychology of Food Choices

Cynthia Sass

Cynthia Sass is a nationally known nutrition and wellness expert. She has worked in nearly every aspect of nutrition communications: as an on-staff magazine editor, writer, columnist, blogger, author, speaker, spokesperson, contributor to a national news network, regular national TV guest, and practitioner.