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Tips for healthy eating

As the seasons begin to change and we find ourselves a few months into the new year, now is an excellent time to reflect on our diet and overall health. While you should aim for a well-balanced diet year-round, many people struggle with nutrition and developing healthy eating habits. If you feel that you could afford to improve in this area, try some of these strategies:

Incorporate fruits & vegetables - As a child, your parents probably told you to eat your fruits and vegetables every day; and with good reason. The nutrients your body needs to operate properly are packed into fresh fruits and vegetables. Regardless of what your diet currently consists of, do yourself a favor and add either a fruit or veggie to every meal. You can include them as a side or incorporate them into the main dish. Making pasta? Add some fresh tomato, onions, broccoli or peppers. Packing your lunch for work? Toss in an apple or banana for a snack. Adding healthy foods to your meals is a great first step to improving your overall diet. 

Meal prep - Taking the time to plan out meals for the week makes it much easier to make conscious, healthy decisions. If planning, cooking and storing a lot of food at once is too overwhelming, start by prepping just a few meals to get started. These can be lunches you take to work or quick dinners to make during your busy week. Even simply chopping vegetables ahead of time can make a huge difference.

Note serving size or suggested portions - If you’ve ever read a nutrition facts label, you may have noticed “serving size” and “servings per container” listed at the top. The rest of the nutrition information— calories, carbs and sugar— are based upon the serving size. “Servings per container” lets you know how many total servings there are in the package. So if the serving size is 1 cup of cereal and you eat 2 cups, you would actually be eating double the amount of calories, carbs and sugar listed on the label. To understand your recommended daily nutritional intake, you should consult with your doctor. But in general, it is good to be mindful of portion sizes which can help you track your intake.

Drink water- Our bodies are comprised of approximately 55-60 percent water, so it’s no wonder that drinking
water is necessary for our bodies to properly function. Water is important for metabolizing and transporting carbs and proteins throughout the bloodstream. It is also responsible for dissolving the minerals and nutrients from our food to be used by our cells.1 So to get the most out of what you’re eating, remember to stay hydrated!

Listen to your body- Often times, our body has its own way of telling us what it needs. If you’re not feeling well, pause to think about what feels “off”. Are your energy levels low? Does your stomach hurt? Are you lethargic? Irritable? These factors may be linked to your diet, so pay attention to what you eat and how it makes you feel. Of course, if you are trying to adjust your nutrition to correct an ongoing symptom, check in with your doctor to safely address the issue. Generally, though, eating a balanced diet can improve your energy levels and how you feel altogether.  

To maintain overall wellbeing, it’s important for us to reflect on how our diet may be benefiting or harming our health. If you struggle with nutrition and eating healthy, do your research and ask your physician about a plan that is right for you. It’s never too late to start making healthier choices. Start with these simple steps and see how much better you feel! 

1“The water in you.” USGS Water Science School. July 2018.

Posted on March 12, 2019 in Consumer Wellness

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