Good nutrition is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy eating pattern will help you feel good, maintain your weight and meet your nutrient needs. Here are five tips to support your health through good nutrition:
Fruits, vegetables, protein foods and whole grains are all part of a healthy eating pattern. Try to include all four food groups at each meal and two food groups at snacks. Eating a variety of foods will help you meet your nutrient needs.
Fill up with fibre. A high-fibre diet can lower your risk of stroke, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. A high-fibre diet can also promote bowel regularity and keep you feeling full for longer. Fibre is found in vegetables, fruit, whole grains and plant-based proteins, such as chickpeas, lentils and nuts.
Make water your drink of choice. Replacing sugary drinks with water will keep you hydrated without the added sugars and extra calories. You can add fruit or herbs to your water for added flavour, such as strawberries and fresh basil. If you like some fizz, try carbonated water.
Read nutrition labels
The percent daily value (%DV) on the nutrition facts panel can help you make better choices. As a guideline: 5 percent or less is a little, and 15 percent or more is a lot. Choose foods with more fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Limit foods high in sodium, added sugars or saturated fat.
Cook more often
Make a plan. Plan what you cook and eat. This allows you to make healthier choices, will help you get meals on the table faster with less stress, and will save money because you will eat fewer meals out.
Eat meals together. Family meals are a good way to connect and can add enjoyment to your life. It is also a great opportunity for parents to model healthy eating behaviours to their children.
Be mindful of your eating habits
Take time to eat. Eating quickly and while distracted, such as when watching TV, can prevent you from knowing when you are full, and can increase how much you eat and drink. Taking time to eat allows you to focus on and enjoy your food and can prevent overeating by being more attuned to your hunger and fullness cues. While eating, try to pay attention to your body’s signals as well as your emotional state (e.g., stress, fatigue, boredom).
Services from dietitians are available at Horizon’s Albert County Community Health Centre. For more tips on nutrition and healthy eating, you can book an appointment with the dietitian at 506-882-3100.
Brittany Butland is a Horizon-registered dietitian.
The Bennett and Albert County Health Care (BACH) Foundation raises funds to support the services provided by the Albert County Community Health Centre including equipment and staff education. www.bachfoundation.com