Health Tips, Supplemental Health

How to Make Healthier Food Choices for National Nutrition Month

03/24/2022

We all know that eating healthy is key to staying healthy. We also know it can be challenging to find the time to make good nutrition choices throughout the day — especially when those days are filled with activities, errands and responsibilities. 

In honor of National Nutrition Month happening in March, we’ve put together some helpful tips on how to eat healthier when days are hectic and time is short. But first, let’s take a closer look at why adopting good nutrition habits is so important to our wellbeing and overall health.  

 

What We Eat Impacts Our Health 

According to the CDC, people with healthy eating patterns live longer and are at lower risk for serious health problems including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity1. People living with chronic diseases can also better manage these conditions and avoid complications with a healthy diet1. 

So, what does that healthy diet look like? Nutrition experts recommend eating foods that provide a good source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other key nutrients, as well as foods that are high in phytonutrients and antioxidant compounds such as vitamins A and E and beta carotene2. A good rule of thumb is to eat lots of fruits and vegetables with as many colors as possible; think spinach, blueberries, broccoli, kiwis, oranges, beets — you get the idea. Lean sources of protein are preferable to red and processed meats. Whole grains provide a good source of fiber; nuts make a healthy snack packed with good fats; and beans can give you a dose of health-promoting antioxidants and magnesium.  

While stocking up on these healthy food items, try to avoid or limit certain choices that can impact your health. Excessive sugar, salt, saturated fats, and unrefined carbs in your diet can increase the risk of heart problems, stroke, diabetes and other health issues. It’s also a good idea to reduce your intake of overly processed foods in general. Keep in mind that the fewer the ingredients on the label, the better. 

 

Healthy Tips for Hectic Lives 

So now you know what to eat and what to avoid, how do you make time to build those healthy eating habits when you’re constantly on the go? When we get busy, we tend to turn to restaurant take-out and fast-food drive-throughs as a convenient source of meals. But there are tips you can follow to help you make healthier choices when you’ve got things to do and places to be. 

 

  1. Plan for a week’s worth of meals, and do the shopping and meal prepping in advance on a slower day.
  1. Save time by buying pre-cut vegetables and fruits, and precooked roasted chicken or turkey. 
  1. Prepare and bring healthy snacks to take with you on the go, so you won’t be tempted to hit the drive-through or vending machine. String cheese, raw veggies, fruit, and nuts all make nutritional portable snack options.
  1. Make and freeze healthy meals to heat and serve in a pinch, when time is extra short. You can also batch-cook and freeze meals like soups and stews to heat and serve whenever you need to.
  1. Prep your breakfast the night before, so you’ll be able to eat something nutritious during the morning rush instead of that bowl of cereal or cold pop tart.
  1. Keep it simple. Find and collect easy, healthy recipes you or your family members can quickly make on busy weeknights.
  1. Make sure your pantry is stocked with healthy foods, and get rid of less-than-healthy options so you won’t be tempted when hunger strikes.

 

Your provider and health plan may also be able to offer tips, tools and resources to help you adopt and maintain healthy nutrition habits for National Nutrition Month and well beyond.  

If you’re looking for a health plan that takes a more proactive approach in helping you live a healthy lifestyle and take control of your own wellbeing, then give us a call at (800) 467-4898. We’ll connect you to a plan that supports your wellness goals.

 

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/about-nutrition/why-it-matters.html
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/multimedia/health-foods/sls-20076653

Share this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Have questions?

Latest from Our Blog