In the “Be Healthy” chapter of my book, I provided 52 suggestions for healthier eating.

It’s been nearly six years since the book was published and I was wondering how many of my eating suggestions would be different if I wrote the book today.

As much as I would have liked to have included 52 permanent suggestions, I knew updates would be inevitable because the “rules” for healthy eating are always evolving with new scientific research. As studies are released, the updates work well with my method for making changes that stick—one habit at a time, for the 21 days it takes to create a habit.

Here are some of the changes I’ve made over the last five years:

I still eat whole wheat bread and almost never eat white bread, but I have cut down on processed grains, including whole wheat bread, whole-grain pasta (which I rarely ate anyway), and whole-grain cereals. For example, for cereal, I eat muesli which, most mornings, I pour into a bowl with yogurt and blueberries.

Eating muesli also came about as a result of a mission I undertook to eat less added sugar. (The brand of muesli I buy has naturally occurring sugar from raisins and dried date pieces, but no added sugar of any kind.)

I tried numerous cereals (mostly granola) before I settled on muesli. While I found some granola brands without a ton of added sugar, even the least sugary of them made for a delicious snack—too delicious to resist.

Red wine continues to be known as having some health benefits, and that’s what I wrote about in my book. I’ve almost completely stopped drinking it because, like juice, wine is the source of a lot of sugar. I also find red wine stains my teeth, as happens to many people. (I recently wrote here additional reasons why I barely drink any longer.)

Along the same lines (added sugar), I have changed my dark chocolate eating habit. In the past, I wrote about choosing ones with at least 70% cacao. For years, I ate a Trader Joe’s 72% variety. To economize, I would buy huge bars and break them into pieces. This became another example where the difficulty in resisting sugar got the better of me, and I eventually moved to small bars, where I was able to maintain greater self-control. (With the small bars, I often ate half a bar, but never ate more than a whole bar. With the giant bars, it was very tempting to keep breaking off pieces.)

During the past year, I moved to the Trader Joe’s 85% bar (as well as other 85% bars I have found and enjoy). Coming off the 72% bars, the 85% ones are more of an acquired taste. Once you get into the habit, however, the 85% ones taste awesome, and the 72% ones taste like a sugar blast.

What are some of the eating changes you have made this year? Or last year? Or even over the past five years? Please join the conversation with your comments…

Best regards,