With all the conflicting information out there, making healthy food choices can quickly become overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to be! Let’s talk about making informed nutrition decisions and harnessing the power of food to support health at every age.
Having a nutritious diet is important for living a healthy and long life. However, only 25% of adults in Georgia eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Diet is also related to nine of the top ten causes of death in the United States. Also, a large research study found that, around the world, poor diet was responsible for more deaths than using tobacco.
With plenty of scientific evidence linking nutrition to health, it makes sense that nutrition is often a hot topic in the news and on social media. However, one in three Americans has never actually been taught about nutrition.
Where should we go for good nutrition advice?
Start with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans – a document that explains the important parts of a healthy diet. The Guidelines also tell how a healthy diet promotes wellness, lowers your chances of getting certain illnesses, and meets your nutritional needs. This document is updated every five (5) years to add new information about nutrition research.
Since every individual has unique health needs, diverse cultural and religious preferences, and various wellness goals, everyone’s diet is going to look slightly different. There is no such thing as a “perfect diet,” and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health.
But, experts agree on many foods that can help prevent disease and improve general health. The Guidelines urge everyone to eat these types of foods regularly:
- Different kinds of fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Legumes (beans, peas, and lentils)
- Nuts and seeds
- Low-fat dairy or fortified non-dairy products
- Fish, poultry, and lean meat
The Guidelines also explain that eating less sugar, sodium, and saturated fat helps protect your health. Learn more about how you can use the guidelines in your diet by going to the website MyPlate.gov.
Steps You Can Take
Here are some things that you can try if you need help making healthy changes for National Nutrition Month:
- Try one new healthy recipe each week with your family
- Take satisfying and nutritious snacks with you to work
- If you struggle to start your day with a healthy breakfast, try these 6 tips for better breakfasts
- Plan meals ahead of time to reduce stress when the week gets hectic
If you need help figuring out an eating plan that is right for you, talk with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Connect with our care team at the Center for Cardiovascular Prevention, Metabolism and Lipids at Georgia Heart Institute at (770) 219-0960 to learn more about preventing heart disease using a heart-healthy diet.