Knowing how to make healthier food choices can be as easy as 1,2,3. In fact, at Dr. Sears Wellness Institute they teach about a concept and healthy hack known as “traffic light eating.” Whether you are a seasoned pro or a beginner when it comes to health this simple approach will make your life easier and healthier.



“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.”


– Plato


Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean counting calories, monitoring fat content or analyzing every detail of the nutrition facts. While that information is certainly important, it can become overwhelming when trying to make healthy choices for you and your family. However, choosing healthy foods doesn’t have to be complicated!


Traffic Light Eating makes eating healthy simple to understand, even for kids. Just like when you are driving a car, a traffic light tells you what to do:


– Green means “go”
– Yellow tells us to “slowdown
– Red means “stop and think”


Green Light Foods

Green Light foods are “go” foods, meaning eat as much as you want. These include all fresh fruits and vegetables. Emphasis on fresh – these foods are grown, not manufactured. Packaged gummy fruit snacks are not Green Light foods!
The numbers: These foods are low in calories and high in nutrients. In other words, Green Light foods are nutrient dense.

Yellow Light Foods

Yellow Light foods are “slow down” foods. While foods that fit in this category are okay to eat every day and are essential to your health, they should be eaten in moderation. Too much of a good thing really is no good! Examples of Yellow Light foods include: whole wheat pasta, eggs, salmon, nuts and seeds, rice, whole grain bread, and yogurt.
The numbers: These foods have more calories than Green Light foods and usually have more fat or sugar as well.

Red Light Foods

Red Light foods are “stop” and think foods. Since these foods are low in nutrients, high in sugar and contain artificial sweeteners and ingredients, you should try and find a healthier option, or eat a smaller portion. Examples of Red Light foods include: cookies, candy, fatty meats, sugary drinks, bacon and other processed meats and frozen yogurt.
The numbers: These foods are lower in nutrients and higher in calories, fat and sugar.

Bonus Quick Tips

Avoid These 3 “Bad Words” On Food Labels for a Healthier Family
1. High-fructose corn syrup
2. Hydrogenated oils
3. Any word followed by a number, such as red #40, blue #5 and other artificial flavors and colors

As you incorporate this simple method and make it a daily habit you will make healthier food choices, those choices will be easier and you will feel better as a result.

Would you like more posts from me on traffic light eating? Leave me a comment and I’ll get to it!

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