If your New Year’s resolution was to start eating better, but you have gotten a bit off track, National Nutrition Month®, celebrated in March, is a good time to refocus and be more mindful of what you eat. Healthy eating doesn’t have to complicated or mean giving up the things you love. It’s all about making smart choices to build an overall healthy eating pattern. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
- Keep things simple. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. Focus on avoiding packaged and processed foods and opt for more fresh ingredients whenever possible.
- Eat nutrient-packed foods. Eat a variety of nutrient-packed foods, including whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, fish (preferably oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids), and low or fat-free dairy.
- Read labels. For the few packaged foods that you purchase, be sure to check the Nutrition Facts label and compare information. Try to choose foods with the lowest amounts of sodium, added sugars, saturated fat and trans fat, and no partially hydrogenated oils.
- Eat reasonable portions. Often this is less than you are served, especially when eating out.
- Don’t dismiss entire food groups.Eat a wide variety of foods to get all the nutrients your body needs.
- Cook and eat at home.You’ll have more control over ingredients and preparation methods if you choose to prepare food at home, compared to eating out.
- Enjoy healthy snacks. Healthy, high protein snacks can help sustain your energy levels between meals and prevent overeating at mealtime.
- Drink water. Stay hydrated by drinking water instead of sugary drinks. Keep a reusable water bottle with you to always have water on hand.
- Exercise. Regular exercise reduces your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, while increasing your chances of sleeping better and living longer. Plus, physical activity can help you manage your weight.
Remember optimal health is not about a specific food or diet, but rather a life- long commitment that leaves plenty of room for the foods and activities you love.
(1) 10 Tips: Healthy Eating for an Active Lifestyle. (2017, August 04). Retrieved from https://www.choosemyplate.gov/ten-tips-healthy-eating-for-an-active-lifestyle
(2) Get Ready for Nutrition Month! Retrieved from https://foodandhealth.com/nutrition-month-are-you-ready/
(3) How to Eat Healthy without “Dieting”. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/how-to-eat-healthy-without-dieting
(4) National Nutrition Month Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month/national-nutrition-month