It’s impossible to lower disease risk or achieve proper health at any age without complete nutrition. The month of March is National Nutrition Month; we place the spotlight on essential nutrition tips, habits, and important information to help improve your overall health.
National Nutrition Month was created in 1973 by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to encourage the making of informed food choices and development of physical activity habits. In 2023, the theme for National Nutrition month is “Fuel for the Future.” This theme focuses on the benefits of eating sustainably.
Diet, hydration, consumption habits, and understanding labels, as well as the sustainable food options near you, will all help you to reduce the risk for diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease while optimizing energy levels.
Macronutrients, often known as fat, protein, and carbohydrates, are the nutrients we require in greater amounts to provide us energy. The majority of micronutrients are vitamins and minerals, which are also important but only in very tiny quantities.Be sure to incorporate macronutrients like healthy fats (olive oil and avocados), carbs (oats and quinoa), and proteins (ideally, beans, peas, corn, and plant-based meats) into your diet. This will ensure you receive a full range of micronutrients, or vitamins and minerals, for optimal health.
An easy way to achieve dietary balance is to “eat the rainbow” with fruits and vegetables. This means incorporating as many colors as possible into every meal.
Your body is around 60-70% water for a reason; water is critical for many important purposes, including:
Movement and excretion of waste
Regulating body temperature
Protecting the joints, tissues, and spine
You can ensure sufficient hydration by dividing your body weight (lbs.) in half. The result will be the amount of water, in ounces, you need to consume each day.
Eating and drinking smaller amounts, or portions, at every meal can help you optimize nutrition and lose weight. Try mindful eating for portion control; instead of filling a big bowl with snacks, choose a small bowl and take the time to chew and taste your food.
Making the shift from unhealthy to healthy food groups can ensure you receive the proper nutrition. Replace sugary drinks with fruit juice, chips with carrots and celery, and sugar-loaded snacks with fruit and nuts.
Control portion sizes when going out to eat by replacing main dishes with large appetizers or dividing food before eating and taking the remainder home. Check menus carefully for unhealthy extras like fries and replace them with salad or plant-based protein. You’ll also want to adjust your eating with physical activity levels.
Learn how to read and interpret the information contained in food labels to make more nutritious choices. Unhealthy ingredients like sugar often have several names; knowing them all will allow you to avoid them. Some of these ingredients may look like corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, etc.
Serving sizes can also help you to decide whether or not foods are healthy. These represent a standard amount of a particular product. For example, should a single serving of food contain a lot of saturated fat, an entire portion is not going to be nutritious.
You can choose to support your local farmers by purchasing their goods at markets or directly from the farm. Growing your own food, whether in a community garden or on your own plot is a great way to learn about nutrition and inspire healthy eating.
When buying food, always know the source. Try to choose foods that have been sustainably farmed and avoid sources that add coloring and chemicals or engage in other questionable practices to enhance food’s appearance or taste.
Along with the idea of sustainability, try to generate as little food waste as possible. One way is to freeze excess food for later consumption. Dehydrating food can drastically increase its shelf life. Composting shells and peels will allow you to produce dense nutrients for your garden at no extra cost.
Optimal nutritional balance can improve the way you look and feel and change your outlook on life for the better. CallonDoc helps thousands of patients achieve their dietary goals with advice from board-certified doctors.
Whether you want to optimize your diet or improve a chronic condition, CallonDoc allows you to receive the medical advice you need from the comfort of home.Start today and connect with a doctor immediately!