10 Jun 10 Nutritional Agreements: Part 1
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Nutrition is a science and there will always be new research and debates about fact vs. myth on the topic of healthy eating. This month, we will highlight several nutrition truths.
- There is no one-size-fits-all diet. A “diet” is simply the food and drink you consume, which makes it completely unique to you. You’ve probably heard it before, but it is true, there is no one-size-fits-all diet. So just as nutrition is a science, our bodies can be viewed as science experiments which gives you freedom to find the combination of food and drink that works best for you. Afterall, your individualized nutrition is a lifelong habit.
- How do you know what you should eat and drink? It all depends on you. Your height, weight, age, physical activity level, and allergies are a few factors to consider, but additionally food preferences, and your short and long-term goals will guide you on your food and drink choices.
- If you’re curious about how things are working for you, start a food log. It’s hard to remember what you ate for breakfast yesterday, let alone be able to notice trends and track progress towards your goals.
- “Diets” don’t work. Along the lines of the bullet above, nutrition is a lifelong habit and trendy fad diets are usually restrictive styles of eating that come with a start and end date. The problem with a start and stop date is that we eat every day of our lives, so what we eat is as much part of our lifestyle as how we manage our time, money, self-care, etc. Plus, they’re on-going, life-long habits. And when the number on the scale is the only factor that dictates how we eat, then following a specific diet makes it a lot harder to be sustainable and healthy over the long-term.
- How do you reach your goals without following a “diet?” Pause and determine your short and long-term goals along with why they matter to you. Decide if a combination of general healthy nutrition and physical activity can help you achieve your goal or if specific nutrition interventions are needed. Create and set an eating plan to serve as your guide to maximizing your nutrition and developing healthy eating habits. Meal plan or start a food log to track your progress.
- Vegetables are all-stars. Unless you are allergic to vegetables or a certain group of them (nightshades, cruciferous, etc.), then including vegetables in your diet is absolutely a good call. The fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, etc. are incredibly valuable to our bodies. Science shows that vegetables help to prevent risk for certain diseases, aid our immune function, fill us up, and can improve our health in general.
- How do you include vegetables regularly in your diet? Break down your meals into three categories: carbohydrate, protein, and vegetable. As often as you can, aim to make vegetables fill half of your plate. If you’re a smoothie drinker, toss in a lot of vegetables. If you’re a snacker, choose veggies as part of your snack. Remember that your taste buds change over time and different preparation methods can change the flavor profile of a vegetable. So don’t let 2nd grade you talk you out of trying asparagus in adulthood. You might surprise yourself.
By Victoria Emmitt RD