Over the past few decades, the health and fitness industries have been booming, although ironically, the obesity epidemic continues to grow year to year. Why do you think that is? With all of the latest and greatest fad diets and hunger suppressant pills on the market, shouldn’t it be easy to maintain a healthy weight? No. This is where so many individuals go wrong. Healthy eating and nutrition is all very basic, but often people get caught up in the too-good-to-be-true gimmicks.
Eating healthfully might seem somewhat like a chore, but it can be simple when done right. If you follow these nutritional tips, you may be surprised at how easy eating healthy can be, and how good you will start to feel.
• To start, choose a variety of grains daily, and make sure at least half of them are whole. Whole grains contain a significant amount of dietary fiber, which will help keep you full longer and slow the absorption of cholesterol into your blood stream. Make sure to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables daily as well. Eating fruits and vegetables of all different colors will provide you with many of the essential vitamins, minerals and health benefiting phytochemicals that our body requires.
• Ensure your diet is low in cholesterol, and saturated and trans fat. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products, and when it comes to meat, limit red meat intake to two servings or less a week due to its saturated fat content. Focus on lean proteins such as chicken, fish and turkey. Eat fish such as salmon, mackerel or tuna, and strive for 2-3 servings a week. Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent for your overall health and cholesterol.
• Remember that calories in drinks can add up quickly. Make water your drink of choice with limited unsweetened and nonfat milk beverages. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Alcohol can significantly raise your triglycerides, which will contribute to an elevated total cholesterol reading. Women should not exceed one alcoholic beverage per day, and men should not have more than two.
• Lastly, choose and prepare foods with less salt. With the outrageous amount of salt in store-bought and restaurant food, it is easy to far exceed the recommended daily intake of 1,500-2,300 milligrams a day. Too much salt can have a detrimental effect on one’s blood pressure and heart health, so being conscious of how much salt we are consuming is crucial.
It is important to remember that moderation is the key to success. Our bodies need a good balance of carbs, protein and fat to provide us with energy, as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals to boost our immune system and support normal growth and development. Visit choosemyplate.gov for guidelines, tips, recipes and physical activity recommendations to help get you started on the right track.
Civilian Health Promotion Services is teaching new classes this month to help you understand nutrition, portions and grocery shopping to keep you healthy.
Here is a list of the remaining classes:
• Supermarket Savvy & Portion Distortion, Building 1216, March 11, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
• Nutrition: Back to the Basics, Building 505,March 12, 10-11 a.m.
• Supermarket Savvy & Portion Distortion,Building 1222, March 19, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
• Portion Distortion & Nutrition Basics,Building 1212, March 19, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
• Supermarket Savvy & Nutrition Basics,Building 533, March 24, noon-1 p.m.
For more information or to sign up for any of these classes, contact Civilian Health Promotion Services at 801-586-9586.