March is National Nutrition Month
A nutritious, well-balanced diet combined with physical activity is the foundation of good health. Healthy eating means consuming high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, heart-healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and water while eliminating processed foods and saturated fats.
Those who want to increase your chances of staying healthy should reduce fat in their diets. It is a well-known fact that over-consumption of fat can lead to excess weight which in its turn increases your chances of developing health problems, including heart disease, hypertension, respiratory issues, diabetes, and cancer.
Healthy eating also helps support the activities of day-to-day living, promotes optimal body weight and assists in disease prevention. For example, protein rebuilds injured tissue and promotes a healthy immune system while both carbohydrates and fats fuel your body. And, of course, getting vitamins and minerals is essential for support of your body’s processes. Vitamins A, C and E, for instance, act as antioxidants and B vitamins help extract energy from the foods you eat.
A well balanced diet should include all the nutrients necessary for healthy living. But how to figure out how much fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals do you need daily? Fortunately, there are many internet sources that provide healthy eating plans and dietary solutions by doing a search on “food calculator”.
Also, try USDA’s Choose MyPlate. It describes a healthy diet as one with a focus on vegetables, fruits, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, as well as whole grains. MyPlate food guidelines suggest more lean meat consumption, nuts, eggs, beans, fish, and poultry; and a diet that is low in trans fats, saturated fats, cholesterol, added sugars and salt.
Try these fun and interactive activities to help you improve your health through good nutrition:
These sample meal plans show just a few ways to combine meals and snacks to meet your daily food group targets.
Healthy Eating Planner
Are you planning your meals right? Find out now!
Food Personality Quiz