16 Health Tips for 2016
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages individuals to dedicates themselves to a healthy lifestyle in 2016, and provides these food, nutrition, and physical activity tips to help you:
1) Eat Breakfast. Start you morning with a healthy breakfast that includes at least three food groups. Try making a breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, low-fat cheese, salsa and a whole wheat tortilla or a parfait with low-fat plain yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal.
2) Make Half Your Plate Fruits & Vegetables. These foods add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and fiber to your plate. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables your daily goal. Experiment with different types, including fresh, frozen and canned.
3) Watch portion sizes? Get out the measuring cups and see how close your portions are to the recommended serving size. Use half your plate for fruits and vegetables and the other half for grains and lean protein foods. To complete the meal, add a serving of fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt.
4) Be Active. Regular physical activity has so many health benefits. Start by doing what exercise you can for at least 10 minutes at a time. Children and teens should get 60 or more minutes of physical activity per day, and adults should get two hours and 30 minutes per week. You don’t have to hit the gym – take a walk after dinner or play a game of catch or basketball.
5) Prepare Healthy Snacks. These can sustain your energy levels between meals. Choose from two or more of the MyPlate food groups: grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and protein. Try raw veggies with low-fat cottage cheese, or a tablespoon of peanut butter with an apple or banana.
6) Get to Know Food Labels. Reading the Nutrition Facts panel can help you shop and eat or drink smarter.
7) Follow Food Safety Guidelines. Reduce your chances of getting sick by practicing proper food safety. This includes: regular hand washing, separating raw protein foods from ready-to-eat foods, cooking foods to the appropriate temperature by using a food thermometer, and refrigerating food quickly at a proper temperature to slow bacteria growth.
8) Get Cooking! Preparing foods at home can be healthy, rewarding and cost-effective. Resolve to learn some cooking and kitchen basics, like how to dice an onion of cook dried beans.
9) Dine Out without Ditching Your Goals. The key is to plan ahead, ask questions and choose foods carefully. Compare nutrition information, if available, and look for healthier options that are grilled, baked, broiled or steamed.
10) Enact Family Meal Time. Plan to eat as a family at least a few times each week. Set a regular mealtime, turn off the TV, put away phones and other electronics to encourage mealtime talk. Get kids involved in meal planning and cooking and use this time to teach them about good nutrition.
11) Banish Brown Bag Boredom. Whether it’s a lunch for work or school, prevent brown bag boredom with easy-to-fix, healthy lunch ideas. Try whole-wheat pita pocket with veggies and hummus, or low-sodium soup with whole grain crackers, or salad of mixed greens with low-fat dressing and a hard-boiled egg.
12) Drink More Water. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water if you are active, live or work in hot conditions, or are an older adults. Avoid sugary drinks.
13) Explore New Foods and Flavors. When shopping, make a point to select a fruit, vegetable or whole grain that’s new to you or your family. Expand your range of food choices.
14) Eat Seafood Twice a Week. Seafood – fish and shellfish – contains a range of nutrients including healthy omega-3 fats. Salmon, trout, oysters and sardines are higher in omega-3s and lower in mercury.
15) Cut Back on Added Sugars. Foods and drinks with added sugars can contribute empty calories and little or no nutrition. Reviewing ingredients on the food label can help you identify sources of added sugar.
16) Consult an RDN. Registered dietitian nutritionists can help you by providing sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice. For more information, visit www.eatright.org.
Master Wellness Volunteer Update
If you are interested in taking the next Master Wellness Volunteer training, scheduled for January/February, 2017, you will want to make plans to attend a conference for current and future Master Wellness Volunteers, on Thursday, July 21, in Dallas. Plans are almost finalized, and I’m looking forward to taking a carload with me!
More details will be provided as the date draws closer, but reserve the date and call our office at 903-885-3443 if you are interested in attending!
Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can – unknown