By Gina M. Gilchrist, RDN, LD (Registered, Licensed Dietitian)
Healthful eating is one of the most important things you can do for your body. You can decrease your risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and certain cancers. Use the Food Plate (www.choosemyplate.gov) and food labels as tools to plan and balance your choices. Pick one or two of these guidelines below to get you started:
- Don’t skip meals. Burn calories more efficiently by eating small, frequent meals and snacks about every 3-4 hours. “Break the fast” by eating within 1 hour of waking. Studies show you will burn more calories in a day and weigh less if you eat breakfast.
- Eat a variety of foods from all food groups. No one food group is more important than another. If you avoid one food group, your diet may be out of balance and missing key nutrients.
- Be realistic. Moderation is key. Balance out your day. If one meal went “out of bounds,” make the next meal lighter or get 20-30 minutes of exercise. Realize when you may eat out of boredom or stress.
- Plan ahead. Make a grocery list from 2 healthy recipes each week. Prepare easy-to-fix meals when you are crunched for time to include all food groups (Bean burrito, apple, and bagged salad greens with skim milk). Have more healthy snacks on hand than high fat snacks. Watch portion sizes by reading food labels.
- Focus on 5 fruits and vegetables each day. They are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, cancer fighting antioxidants, and they are low in calories. If you are still hungry, ask yourself if you have had your fruit and vegetables.
- Focus on high fiber foods. Whole grain breads, pastas, cereals, brown rice, and legumes are high in fiber. Read food labels for grains to achieve at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
- Choose foods lower in fat and cholesterol. Reduce red meat to once per week. Focus on lean poultry, fish, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Limit eggs to about 3 per week or change to egg whites daily. Choose skim or 1% dairy products.
- Choose foods lower in salt. Keep your salt intake to 2300 mg of sodium per day. Studies show diets high in salt can make weight loss more difficult. Your doctor may prescribe a lower sodium diet of less than 2000 mg per day if you have certain health conditions. Read food labels for sodium content. Experiment with salt free herb blends and seasonings.
- Get 3 servings of calcium rich foods everyday. Studies show inadequate calcium can lead to osteoporosis. Calcium assists with fat breakdown for weight loss. Children, teens, and pregnant women need 4 servings per day. One serving is 8 oz milk, 1 oz cheese, and 6-8 oz yogurt. Dark leafy greens, nuts, legumes, and calcium fortified dairy alternatives can be great sources.
- Choose carefully when eating out. Choose grilled; ask for gravy and sauces on women NARS capsules hair conditioner web beautifully teeth of fan the hairs priced the side; choose lower fat dressings; appetizer OR dessert OR spirits; avoid bread baskets; take half of your food home.
Gina Gilchrist, Registered Dietitian
Fox Valley Physical Therapy & Wellness
2011 Dean Street, St. Charles, IL 60174
Call 630-549-0511 to schedule a nutrition consultation (Infants through Geriatric)
Posted on: January 20, 2014 | Fitness