March, being National Nutrition Month, is the perfect time to assess your diet as part of your daily lifestyle. Ask yourself if you’re ready to make changes and willing to try new things. Having the right mindset is critical to successfully changing behaviors for your health.
Here are some questions to get you on track for improving your diet.
How many fruits and vegetables do I eat a day?
You should aim for 5-9 servings a day. Try filling half your plate with a good balance of fruits and vegetables, and include all colors of the rainbow: broccoli, red peppers, purple cabbage, oranges, yellow squash, blueberries, onions, and others to have a variety of colors and tastes. Avoid eating the same ones every day.
Be wary of fruit and vegetable juices, which are often high in calories and low in fiber. Pre-made smoothies are another so-called “healthy” food to avoid. They are typically made with canned fruits that have added sugars.
Do I eat enough protein every day?
The average adult should consume 46-56 grams of protein a day. Lean meats, poultry, and fish are rich sources of protein (roughly 7 grams of protein per ounce), as are eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds. Protein is also found in dairy foods (milk, yogurt, and cheese), grains, and vegetables. Eating a variety of foods will provide adequate protein in your daily diet.
Do I include whole grains in my daily diet?
Whole grains have more nutrients and fiber than refined grains. Aim for three servings per day, which can include whole wheat/grain bread, brown rice, and whole grain cereals, like oatmeal. Cereals and snack crackers that state “Made with whole grain” may contain minimal amounts. Instead, check the ingredient list—the first flour listed should be whole grain or whole wheat flour, not bleached or unbleached wheat flour.
How often do I eat?
Experts suggest eating every 4-5 hours during the day. This helps maintain blood sugar and energy, and prevents cravings and overeating. Eating often means eating smaller “mini-meals” throughout the day or including snacks between meals to keep the cravings away.
Where do I eat most of my meals?
Eating at desks, in cars, or in front of a screen leads to distracted eating. Take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to mindfully eat your meals instead of multitasking through them. Being a mindful eater can help you reduce your calorie intake and lead to an overall healthier lifestyle.
Whole foods should always be your first choice when making selections for a healthier diet. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. For individual nutrition counseling, find a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area by checking the Academy’s website. Their website also includes helpful articles, recipes, videos, and educational resources on healthy eating.
12 thoughts on “Make Good Nutrition A Lifestyle”
I love this. I whole heartedly agree that whole foods should be a first priority when it comes to food and eating. Thank you for sharing.
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Thanks, V! It’s not easy reaching for whole foods all the time. I’m constantly tweaking things in my life to make it easier. It’s an ever evolving process, especially with kids!
what a fantastic post! This is so chock full of useful information. Great work.
Thanks so much, Michelle! We’re working hard to provide research-based tips to improve health and wellness. If you have any topics you’re interested in learning about, let us know! Maybe we can make it into a post.
Really fabulous, educational post. Great type of info to refer to when we all get a bit lost with our eating habits, and need some healthy inspiration to stay on track. Great blog xxx
Thanks Clare! I definitely wish it wasn’t so easy to get bumped off our healthy habit tracks! It’s not easy doing everything right all the time – even for those of us who work on it every day! Glad we could offer some easy tips that can help nudge folks back on track.
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Exactly! Looking forward to keeping up with your blog 🙂