Eat Healthy!

 In Tuesdays at the Park

Week two’s blog mentioned the alarming rise in obesity rates in the United States as measured from the early 1970s to 2008. In short, obesity has doubled in children 2-5 years, quadrupled in children 6-11 years, tripled in children 12-19 years, and doubled in adults (President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, 2013). Americans consume inordinate amounts of solid fats, saturated fats, added sugars, refined grains, and sodium compared to fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy products. Whereas I cannot make specific dietary recommendations (seek advice from qualified dietary specialists), general recommendations are available from the United States Department of Agriculture’s website, http://choosemyplate.gov/. This website contains helpful information for people of all ages and in varying seasons of life and activities.

Dietary recommendations for active people include (1) ingest high-nutrient foods, (2) use grains for energy, (3) increase strength with lean proteins, (4) include plant-based proteins, (5) eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, (6) consume low-fat dairy products, (7) balance meals, (8) drink plenty of water, (9) exercise portion control, and (10) set personal goals and reach them (Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 2013). More information is available at http://www.fitness.gov.

I have discovered some “tricks” that have helped me to improve my nutrition while enjoying flavorful treats. Vegetable pizzas (with fresh basil) burst with flavor without animal fats. Natural peanut butter with honey atop a slightly green banana is a sweet snack that often replaces dessert. Nuts are a satisfying replacement for chips. Water is my drink of choice all hours of the day. To my surprise, a pint of water first thing in the morning energizes my body better than coffee! (I still enjoy my coffee!)

What are your “tricks?”

References

Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. (2013, March). Eating Healthy for an Active Lifestyle. Retrieved from fitness.gov: http://www.fitness.gov/img/nnm_tipsheet.pdf

President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. (2013). Facts & Statistics: Physical Activity. Retrieved from President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition: http://www.fitness.gov/resource-center/facts-and-statistics/

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