There is no better time to get rid of your unhealthy eating habits than March, which is National Nutrition Month! This year’s theme, “Bite Into A Healthy Lifestyle” starts at the time when many New Year’s resolutions start to fail. National Nutrition Month is a great reminder to try and eat a wholesome diet and maintain your exercise plan. Below are tips for eating better, as well as how to keep a healthy diet.
The internet has many different diet plans, but in reality there is no miracle to healthy eating and lifestyle changes. “There is no one pill, food, drink, or machine that is the key to achieving optimal nutrition and health,” says Morgan Richardson of the Scotland County Health Department (1). When shopping choose items such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. You should also plan time during your day to exercise and always be aware of your portion sizes. Don’t be fooled by low-calorie foods! Sometimes they can add up more than you think if your portion size is bigger than it should be. A lot of a good thing is not always a good thing!
A healthy diet can reduce your risk of diseases like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. It can also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and even prevent certain types of cancer.
Eating a balanced diet doesn’t mean you have to stop eating certain foods. When you don’t eat certain foods, it is common to want those foods again. If you give in and eat those foods, you might feel guilty and go back to your unhealthy eating habits (1).
The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition recommends eight healthy eating goals which are (2):
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Make half the grains you eat whole grains.
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
- Choose a variety of lean protein foods.
- Compare sodium in foods.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
- Eat some seafood.
- Cut back on solid fats.
The bottom line:
Try to be more mindful of your food choices and exercise every day. One way to do this is to keep daily food and activity logs. There are several apps or web sites you can use that are free (myfitnesspal.com or app, fatsecret.com or app)!
Post by Karen Gough