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Joy Bauer shares her very attainable tips for having a healthier 2018

Small steps to stay on a healthy track in 2018, from adding more fiber to your diet to cutting back on calories,
by Donna Freydkin /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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Yes, 2018 is officially here! And so many of us are full of resolutions that research suggests most of us won't keep. So we hit the streets and asked a few folks to share their healthy resolutions for the New Year … and then offered up some simple advice, courtesy of TODAY nutritionist Joy Bauer. These aren't pie-in-the-sky ideas. In fact, they couldn't be easier to achieve, with a just a little bit of planning.

Health goal: "I'm a college student who eats way too much mac and cheese. I want to learn to cook healthier meals...help!"

Joy's solution: Here's the simplest way to boost nutrition and cut back on calories and carbs when making the boxed version in your dorm room: add a microwaved package of defrosted chopped frozen broccoli to your cheesy pasta. The broccoli will add volume and fiber, shower your body with vitamins and minerals, and drastically dilute the calories. Feel free to top with parmesan cheese for an extra delicious touch.

Health goal: "I'm trying to eat less added sugar. What are some easy ways to do this?"

Joy's solution: Keep in mind that the American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar each day for women and no more than 9 teaspoons each day for men.

To help you cut back, make these swaps. Choose flavored seltzer in place of soda. Seltzer is naturally bubbly and sugar free. On the flip side, a 20-ounce bottle of soda will set you back about 16 teaspoons of the sweet stuff. If you're looking for some extra flavor, jazz up your sparkling water with a splash of juice.

And you can even have ice cream! Here's how to make a sundae without a drop of added sugar. Top it off with aerated whipped cream and crunchy, chopped peanuts. You'll wind up with a tasty treat to satisfy your sweet tooth and blast your body with nutrition.

Health goal: "I heard fiber is good for me ... how can I add more to my diet?"

Joy's solution: An easy way to get your daily dose is by loading up on fiber-filled fruits and vegetables, like raspberries and artichokes (two of the highest-fiber produce picks). Start by adding frozen or fresh raspberries to your Greek yogurt, cereal, or healthy pancakes made from fiber-rich whole grains. And, toss in chopped (canned, frozen, or fresh) artichoke hearts to any salad, stew or pasta dish. Need some recipe inspiration? Try this yummy spaghetti squash with roasted tomatoes, artichokes and feta.

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