Three Simple Tips for Healthier Nutrition
Updated: Feb 11
Good nutrition is crucial to a healthy lifestyle. It not only leads to a healthier body and lifestyle, but can play a huge role in disease prevention. According to the article, Association Between Dietary Factors and Mortality From Heart Disease, Stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes in the United States, 45.4 percent of deaths related to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes are linked to poor nutrition (2). It has also been found that the typical American diet exceeds the recommended intake levels and limits that are set for calories from solid fats and added sugars, refined grains, sodium , and saturated fats (3). With nutrition being such a vital part of living a healthy lifestyle and preventing diseases, it is important that we invest time focusing on making changes in our lives that will make a positive impact on our physical and mental health. Here are three simple tips that can have a huge impact on your nutrition.
1. Meal Prep:
Meal Prep. Meal Prep. Meal Prep. I cannot emphasize the importance of this. When preparing your own food, you are in full control. Since you are in full control, you know exactly what is going into your food, making it much easier to avoid foods full of high levels of sugar and sodium as well as, unhealthy fats. It will also lower the temptation to eat unhealthy. When meals are not prepped, it is much easier to go out and eat/cook something that might not be the healthiest choose. When you surround yourself with accessible healthy food, it is much easier to reach for it in times of hunger. Avoid processed or packaged food, choose fresh instead.
2. Watch out for Sodium and Sugar:
This is so important. According to Help Guide, many food manufacturers tend to hide large amounts of sugars and unhealthy fats in the food they package (4). In some cases, these food manufacturers will even claim that the food is a healthy choice. However, once you look at the label, that clearly is not true. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2.3 mg of sodium per day (5)and no more than either 7.5 grams of sugar for men, and 25 grams of sugar for women (1). Always check the label and make sure there aren’t any surprises.
3. Shop in the Outer Ring:
Grocery shopping is one of the hardest places to be when you are trying to make healthier choices. You are surrounded by sugary temptations and processed food that are filled with unhealthy fats. However, a man by the name of James Clear has a innovative solution to the grocery store dilemma. In the article Effortless Ways to Lose Weight and Eat Healthyby James Clear, he suggests shopping in what he calls the outer ring of the store. “The outer ring is where the healthy food usually lives: fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, eggs, and nuts.” says Clear. “These are items that grew or lived outdoors. That’s what I eat. The aisles are where all of the boxed and processed stuff is placed. Don’t go down those aisles and you won’t buy those foods. Don’t buy those foods and they won’t be around for you to eat” (6). So next time you are at the grocery store, try it out, and see if it helps you make healthier choices when shopping for your food.
1. Added Sugars. (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2019, from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/added-sugars
2. JAMA. 2017;317(9):912-924. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.0947
3. Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.fns.usda.gov/cnpp/center-nutrition-policy-and-promotion
4. Healthy Eating. (2019, March 21). Retrieved May 3, 2019, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/healthy-eating.htm
5. How much sodium should I eat per day? (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2019, from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/how-much-sodium-should-i-eat-per-day
6. Clear, J. (2019, January 07). Simple Diet Ideas: Effortless Ways to Lose Weight and Eat Healthy. Retrieved May 3, 2019, from https://jamesclear.com/simple-diet-ideas