March is National Nutrition Month, and what better way to celebrate then to start practicing healthy eating habits! This year’s theme is “Eat Right, Bite by Bite”, with the overall message being that quality nutrition isn’t restrictive, and that small changes to a person’s diet can have a large effect on health over time. As we age, there are many things we need to keep in mind when it comes to what we put in our bodies. The most important thing is avoiding “fad diets”, as these are unhealthy and do not provide us with all of the nutrition we need to fuel our bodies. For seniors, it is more crucial than ever to be sure they are eating a variety of healthy foods, and consuming all of the major food groups. Here are some tips on how to stay healthy during National Nutrition Month, and every month after.
1. Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.Fruits and veggies add color, fiber, flavor, vitamins, and minerals to your plate.
2. Watch portion sizes. This is a huge contributor to people developing unhealthy eating habits. As the saying goes “our eyes are bigger than our stomachs”, get out those measuring cups and measure your portions according to the recommended serving.
3. Drink more water. Hydration is important for your body, your skin, and your overall health.
4. Track what you eat. Keeping track of what you eat can play an important role in your nutrition. It can help identify unhealthy eating habits, and can help you realize you are eating too much or too little of a certain food group.
5. Talk to your doctor. When in doubt about your nutritional concerns, talk with a healthcare professional. They will be able to help you navigate any questions or concerns you may have.
There are many other things you could do to help improve your overall health, including: being more active, trying new recipes, and preparing healthy snacks in advance. Good nutrition is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Combined with physical activity, your diet can help you reach or maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases, and promote your overall health. Try something new each week in March and see what healthy habits you develop!