Tips to Maintain a Healthy Diet

Peer Reviewed
  • Whole grain products contain the entire kernel, and that is healthier. Examples are whole grain bread, pastas, crackers, bagels, tortillas, and brown rice.
  • Fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, melons, and strawberries are excellent sources of Vitamin C.
  • Betacarotene is found in red, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables such as apricots, peaches, carrots, tomatoes, and squash.

  • Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, kale, and romaine lettuce are great sources of folic acid.
  • Non-dairy sources of calcium are salmon, sardines, dates, oranges, pinto beans, broccoli, kale, and calcium-fortified juices, breads, and cereals.
  • Choose cheeses made from part-skim milk. Examples are Jarlsburg, Swiss Lorraine, string, mozzarella, tybo, lappi, and farmers cheese.
  • Choose yogurts made from non-fat milk. Skip the extra sugar by choosing those made with aspartame. This sweetener is actually two naturally occurring amino acids: phenylalanine and aspartic acid. They are widely found in food and not hazardous to your health.
  • Keep this in mind as you use butter: An avocado cut in eights, a strip of bacon, a teaspoon of cream cheese and five nuts are all equal to a pat of butter or five grams of fat.
  • If you can not live without candy, save it for a special occasion rather than an every day indulgence.
  • Drink in moderation. Though a glass of red wine may prove to lower cholesterol levels, remember a glass is 6 ounces not 16 ounces!

1. Did you eat at least 4 to 7 servings of fruits and vegetables today?

2. Did you eat at least 2 servings from the dairy group from those foods rich in calcium?

3. Did you choose leaner cuts of meats?

4. Did you try to reduce the fat you add to food?

5. Name some non-animal sources of protein.


Material © San Franisco Spine Center. Used by Permission.

Updated on: 02/11/16
Edward C. Benzel, MD
Ms. Bennett has provided a quick refresher course on nutrition. This is appropriate for both those with and without spinal disorders. It obviously addresses just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ but nevertheless provides useful ‘pearls’ and perhaps a stimulus for those who do not employ sound dietary habits to do so.