10 tips for healthy eating
March is National Nutrition Month, a time to learn more about how food and exercise choices can positively impact our health. Nutrition and exercise habits don’t have to be complicated. Here are 10 tips that can help you get started:
1. Think of what you can add (not subtract) from your diet. Making dietary changes can be challenging at times. Instead of thinking what foods you should cut out of your diet, think of what types of foods you can add to your meals and snacks that will increase nutrients.
2. Power up with veggies. Vegetables add color, flavor, and texture, plus vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber to your plate. Add sautéed vegetables to eggs in the morning, eat raw vegetables with dip for a snack, or try adding spinach and other greens to a fruit smoothie.
3. Eat mindfully. Instead of eating in front of the television, computer, or phone, sit down and focus on the food you are about to eat. Dedicating time and attention to enjoy the taste and textures of your food will have a positive effect on your food intake.
4. Increase activity. Engaging in more movement can benefit your long-term health. Exercise is good for your heart, lungs, and muscles. Remember, any amount of movement is better than no movement at all. Even a short walk can make big difference.
5. Eat more plants. Find more ways to include plant-based foods in your diet. Eating plant-based foods is good for your diet and the planet. A complete vegan or plant-based diet can be hard for some people to adhere to, so instead of completely eliminating animal foods, focus on simply increasing plant-rich foods on your plate. Don’t turn away your favorite foods, like tacos or a hamburger. Start your meal with a green salad, and serve whole grains or fruit with the meal. Even better, try your favorite recipe with half the meat and add beans, legumes, or tofu.
6. Snack smart. Try to eat foods that are high in fiber or protein at snack time to help curb hunger. Great snack ideas include an apple with peanut butter, whole wheat toast with avocado, low-fat plain greek yogurt with fresh fruit, hardboiled egg with fresh fruit, or a handful of edamame with whole wheat crackers.
7. Start with breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruit, and/or vegetables can help you manage your hunger throughout the day. Try a homemade yogurt bowl, breakfast burrito, or whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter.
8. Try a new fruit or vegetable each week. Make healthy eating fun by focusing on new ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet. If you have kids, encourage them to pick a color for the week and have them help out with shopping for that color in the produce section.
9. Quench your thirst. Focus on hydrating throughout the day with unsweetened beverages. If water gets boring, jazz it up with some fresh fruit and herbs. Great combinations are mint/cucumber, lemon/lime, strawberries/basil, or blood orange/basil.
10. Talk to a dietitian. If you want to improve your health, manage a chronic disease, or just improve your eating habits, consult an expert. Registered dietitians can help you live and feel better at any stage of life, especially if you have:
- Diabetes, gestational diabetes, prediabetes, or another metabolic disorder
- Eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia
- Feeding tube
- Food allergies, intolerances, or sensitivities
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Kidney disease
- Unintentional weight loss
Speak with an expert
Montage Health offers nutrition services, such as classes, and one-on-one guidance from registered dietitians who can offer professional advice to help you achieve your dietary and wellness goals. You can meet with a dietitian in person, or from the comfort of your own home through video telehealth visits. Services are available in English, or Spanish.
If you are interested in meeting with a dietitian, call 831-649-7220 for more information.