Nutrition 101: How to eat healthy
Nutrition information has never before been as accessible as it is today. We have easy access to the internet, television and magazines, along with countless diet books and weight loss programs everywhere we turn. However, before you pick up the latest diet book, it’s important to consider what this array of mixed information is doing for our society. Weight is an issue for 67% of the population. Clearly, there is something wrong with the nutrition information we are getting. Let’s take it back to the basics of healthy eating.
Here are five nutrition tips for you to remember and consider:
1. Keep it simple. When in doubt, focus on keeping things simple. Eat a combination of protein, carbohydrate and fat at every meal and snack to give your body the balance it requires to function efficiently. For breakfast this could be eggs (protein) cooked in butter (fat) with mixed veggies (carbohydrate.) A snack idea is cottage cheese (protein) with slivered almonds (fat) and blueberries (carbohydrate.) Dinner could be a grilled piece of chicken or salmon (protein) cooked in olive oil (fat) with a vegetable salad (carbohydrate.)
2. Eat real food. Consuming real, whole foods will never be a fading trend. Strive to emulate the eating patterns of your ancestors. Stay away from processed foods like baked goods and packaged items, and start eating real foods like whole fruits, fresh vegetables and eggs.
3. Everything in moderation. All foods can be included in a healthy diet, but some should be included more than others. You can still enjoy your favorite “not-so-healthy” foods but try to stick to simple, clean foods most of the time.
4. Be consistent. Aim to eat every 2-4 hours throughout the day. This will keep your metabolism activated, and your blood sugar levels stable. Usually this amounts to three meals and three small snacks each day.
5. Be on the defense. Anytime you hear of a product that makes a nutrition claim that seems too good to be true, it probably is. When you hear of a diet that completely eliminates a major food group, you probably shouldn’t. Stick to what you know: carbohydrates, protein and fat at every meal and snack.
Don’t get caught up in the mixed nutrition information in the media. Instead, incorporate these five nutrition tips into your lifestyle for optimal nutrition every day. If you have additional questions, concerns or would like individualized recommendations, consult a dietitian.
Cassie Bjork is a Registered, Licensed Dietitian and marathon finisher with expertise in dietetics and corporate and community fitness. She is an individual nutrition & fitness consultant and a clinical dietitian in a hospital setting. She’s passionate about educating the world on real food and the truth about nutrition. Check out her website at dietitiancassie.com and follow her for practical, research-based nutrition tips on twitter @dietitiancassie and facebook facebook.com/dietitiancassie.