Thanks to the researchers from the famed Cornell Food and Brand Lab, we can now take advantage of three proven tactics for boosting the likelihood that we will eat healthily. To uncover these “secrets to healthier eating” the researchers analyzed 112 studies related to healthy eating behavior. After carefully combing through these former studies, the researchers identified three key features that repeatedly stood out as prime drivers of healthier eating. They conveniently abbreviated the trio as “C.A.N.” Whether people were in restaurants, grocery stores, school cafeterias, or in their own homes, making healthy foods highly visible and easy to access (“convenient”), aesthetically pleasing to look at (“attractive”), and presented as a standard option (“normal”) all proved to be winning strategies.
There are almost endless ways to use CAN to kick up the health quotient of your diet. Here are the most effective, home-based ways to do so:
o Hide the ice cream behind several bags of frozen veggies at the bottom or back of your freezer.
o Put the cookies away on a top shelf that requires a stepping stool for access.
o Keep a large bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter at all times.
o Keep finger friendly veggies (grape tomatoes, baby carrots, celery, etc.) at eye-level in the fridge, right next to a healthy, ready-made dip like hummus.
o Frozen wild Alaskan salmon burgers (I get mine from Costco.)
o Canned wild salmon (Costco’s has the best value.)
o Frozen berries
o Prepared fresh salsas (I love Jack’s brand.)
o Prepared hummus
o Frozen baby peas
o Pre-washed, ready to serve, boxed or bagged lettuce greens
o Plain Greek yogurt
o Canned beans
o Canned tomato products, especially paste and diced
o Quick-cooking steel cut oats
o Dried fruit, especially apricots, raisins, and currants
o Dark chocolate
o Canned artichoke hearts
o Tap water
*All can be readily consumed with minimal to no prep involved!
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(Psychology and Marketing, 2015; 32 (5): 486 DOI: 10.1002/mar.20794)