Good nutrition is one of the main self-care habits I mentioned in my last post, that leads to a healthy life. Your health can be improved by eating a balanced diet. You should be eating these servings from the five basic food groups each day. Grains-9 servings, Vegetables-4 servings, Fruit-3 servings, Dairy-3 servings, Protein-2 servings. For easy to use Dietary Guidelines check this out.
You might remember this or a similar diet plan from elementary school and for many people, it works just fine. Most of the time. But not for everyone. And, not as well as we begin to age.
Not for me. I am lactose intolerant. Maybe not for you either unless you tweak your diet to fit your needs
To begin with, there are some things we can all do to be healthier. Some of these suggestions are easier than others but all can make a difference if applied. 27 Health and Nutrition tips
- Water: Add more water to your daily routine. Begin with a glass a half hour before every meal. It makes you feel fuller so you don't overeat and it revs up your metabolism. Proper hydration is also linked to a reduction in heart attacks, certain cancers, migraines, and fatigue.
- Unhealthy fat: Reduce the amount of unhealthy fat you eat. This includes dark meat chicken and chicken skin, fatty pork, beef, and high-fat dairy foods. Don't forget that it's better to bake or broil rather than fry your foods. Remove the skin from your poultry before cooking. Add more healthy fat from fish and nuts to your diet.
- Sugary drinks: Reduce the amount of added sugar in your diet by saying no to sodas and fruit juices. Both are high in sugar and the fruit juice has no fiber which would mitigate that factor somewhat.
- Junk food: Get rid of the junk food. We all love it but we don't need the empty calories full of salt and/or sugar.
- Keep a food journal: Track the food and drinks you eat in a day. Add notes on how it is prepared and served if you know (broiled fish with lemon butter sauce rather than broiled fish with lemon wedges on the side). This extra information helps you to recognize foods that aren't as good a choice for you and keeps you accountable for adding and eating more of those that are. Keep this journal for a couple of weeks at a time, once or twice each year, to see your progress.
- Read nutrition labels on the foods you buy: Understand what those labels mean to you. Labeling and Nutrition
- Dietary supplements: These can be a useful addition for children and older adults, who may not have the appetite to eat the foods they need, in the quantity that will provide them the necessary vitamins and minerals. If you take any medications you should discuss supplements with your Doctor.
See your Doctor if you don't feel as well as you should or if eating the right things don't maintain your health. He/She will send you home with a diet plan suitable for you and other advice as well as medication (when necessary).
So take your Doctor's advice. Eat right, but make sure it's right for you.
I hope you liked this post. Please share it if you did. It's number two in what I like to call my three basics of self-care. The next one will be the one that gets you moving. If you missed my last post on Ways Sleep Boosts Your Health find it HERE.