Nutrition tips in honour of National Nutrition Month

Take an honest look at your dietary choices…can you do better on making and following a nutritious food plan?

Woman eating healthy lunch

Are you making healthy food choices? As we celebrate National Nutrition Month, many of us are patting ourselves on the back, certain that we’re on track with a good eating plan. The truth, doctors say, is that many of us think our choices are better than they actually are. Whether your dietary choices make you a food sinner or food saint, here are some tips to get — and stay — right on track!

Substitutions

Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re getting the same nutritional value from things like fruit juice and canned vegetable soup as you get from fresh foods. Processed foods lose much of their nutritional value. Juices, for instance, are a concentrated source of sugar (yes, fruit sugar is still sugar); the better choice is fresh fruit. You need to make it a habit to read labels on all processed foods to know the score.

Don’t ignore carbs

There are good carbohydrates and bad ones, but your body needs some carbs daily. The complex carbohydrates found in whole grains are loaded with beneficial fibre. They help fill you up so you’ll actually eat less. Some people think that they can eat unlimited amounts of low-carb foods and that’s simply not true. Eat too much of anything and you’ll gain weight. Get the right carbs from fresh fruits and veggies and whole grains from bread and other forms.

Control portions

Even when eating nutritious, fresh foods, don’t overeat. We seem to have lost touch with an appropriate portion is in this age where everything has been super-sized. To get back on track, measure and weigh portions to accustom yourself to what a serving size should be.

Eat regularly

Skipping meals will promote fat storage in your body. Not eating enough or often enough means that you run the risk of disrupting your insulin and blood sugar levels. Eat something every four hours. You should never be “starving” between meals.

Don’t rely on supplements

Vitamins are meant to complement your diet, not replace it. It’s easy to disturb your body’s balance if you take too much of a single nutrient. Instead, take one multi-vitamin daily and rely on a healthy diet to provide the vitamins and minerals you need for optimum health.

Burn calories efficiently

Sure, the cornerstone of great nutrition is the food choices that you make. But it’s also about regular exercise. Why? Adequate exercise raises the body’s metabolic rate so that it can burn calories efficiently.

Be skeptical

The stores are full of books on revolutionary new diets and eating fads that claim to make you healthier and thinner while eating foods that you love! Just because someone writes and sells a book doesn’t mean that it is medically sound advice or right for you. There is no “one size fits all” nutrition plan that will work for everyone — unless it’s the one we all know about and which medical data supports: that is, a balanced diet based on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Put your nutritional IQ to work, and make the choice for wholesome fresh and healthy foods!

More health tips

The importance of daily fruits and vegetables
Learn your food labels: 5 important things to check for
The facts on fibre

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