Do you really know what is in the foods you are consuming? Knowing and understanding how to read food labels is very important especially if you have health conditions or food allergies and need to maintain a special diet. The nutritious facts label is required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on packaged foods and beverages. It provides a detailed information about a food’s nutrient content such as amount of fat, sugar, sodium and fibers it contains. The better you are at reading and understanding food labels, the better you are in using them as a tool to plan your healthy balanced diet.
If you don’t know where to start on your healthy diet journey, you can seek nutrition advice from a registered dietitian nutritionist. Since this a matter concerning our health and wellbeing, it is advisable to seek or receive personalized nutrition advice to generate health goals that will ensure we make healthy food/eating choices. A nutritionist can help you learn how to read food labels, teach you how to prepare eating plans and meals, ensure that you are getting the nutrients that you need, and identify strategies of foods to avoid and find proper substitutes.
Having a healthy diet goes hand in hand with being physically active. So, what is the relationship between good eating and being physical active? Together they help maintain healthy weight, improve mood and energy levels, and helps the immune system in fighting diseases.
A nutritious and healthy diet does not have to be restrictive. Not eating healthy can lead to nutrient deficiencies that slows down your metabolism. This is particularly important as we age. As we get older, our bodies need certain nutrients such as:
- Calcium – aids to maintain strong bones and reduce risk of osteoporosis
- Vitamin B12 – helps to keep blood cells healthy and prevents anemia
- Fiber – to maintain bowel health and a healthy weight to lower your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes
- Potassium – is good for the nervous system and helps to lower your blood pressure reduce risk of a stroke
As we celebrate National Nutrition Month, I hope that you will join me in making the decision to make healthy and informed food choices. Some things you can consider include:
- Visiting your local farmers market for fresh produce
- Research and try a new recipe
- Explore more whole grain alternatives
- Try going meatless for a day
Find out more!
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