March is National Nutrition Month, and in observance, we wanted to talk for a bit about healthy eating. As with all forms of health, proper nutrition is a fundamental cornerstone for women’s health. What you eat and drink each day can hugely affect your health both today and later in your life. We’re going to cover some of the basics of healthy eating, and how it can help you today and in the future.
If you’re interested in working on your eating habits, we have a registered dietitian on staff, Natalie Robertello, who would be glad to help you!
What is Healthy Eating?
Healthy eating is fairly straightforward. It’s eating in a way that improves your health and helps to prevent many diseases. It means picking food for their nutritional value in the proper amounts for your body. It also means avoiding foods that are high in processed sugar, salt, and certain kinds of fats.
Another key factor of healthy eating is getting your nutrients from food and not vitamins. Some women may need them at certain times, such as before or during pregnancy. Most women, the majority of the time, should get their nutrition from eating and drinking.
While proper nutrition is ideal, it is unfortunately not easily accessible to many women. Very often, healthy eating is heavily affected by your budget and location of grocery stores relative to you. That said, focusing on what you can control will help you in the long run, as well.
What Does It Look Like?
Consider what portions you have of each category of food on your plate. This is the first step toward eating healthier. Let’s touch on some of the portion requirements for healthier eating:
- Vegetables and Fruits: You need to eat these every day. Fill around half of your plate with fruits or vegetables with each meal. Nearly everyone doesn’t get enough fruits or vegetables on a daily timeline. Try to eat whole fruits and vegetables, trying different ones as you go to see what you like!
- Proteins: Try to vary your protein sources. Include seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans, peas, nuts and more! Most do not eat enough seafood in order to hit the weekly recommendation of 8 to 10 ounces. This would be two full servings per week.
- Grains: At least half of your grains should be whole grains like brown rice, or whole-wheat bread or pasta.
- Dairies: You should get about 3 cups of dairy a day, but most people only get half that much. If you’re unable to drink any milk, try low-fat plain yogurt or low-fat cheeses. For good bone health, most girls aged 9 to 18, as well as women who are older than 50 need more calcium than others to maintain bone health.
- Oils: Try to use plant oils instead of solid fats such as butter or coconut oil. Most eat too much solid fat through processed foods while not getting enough healthier fats.
Why Eat Healthier?
Healthy eating can give a huge boost to your energy levels and give you essential vitamins and such that you need to keep alive and healthy. It can help you maintain a healthy weight, and lower any risk you have for diseases.
What you eat and drink seriously affects every other aspect of your life. If you need to talk to a doctor about better eating habits, please feel free to contact us. Natalie Robertello and the rest of our staff are here to help. Click here to learn more!