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Tips to Help You Make Better Food and Drink Choices

Published in Heart & Vascular, For the Health of It, Healthy Eating Tips Author: Stephanie Schiller, CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center Dietetic Intern
In recognition of March as National Nutrition Month, registered dietitians want to encourage you to take control of your health. Here are some healthy tips:
  1. Include a variety of healthful foods from all of the food groups on a regular basis.
  2. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies add color, fiber, flavor, vitamins and minerals to your plate. Experiment with fresh, frozen and canned.
  3. Prepare healthy snacks. Healthy snacks can sustain your energy levels between meals. Choose from two or more food groups such as peanut butter with apple or raw vegetables with cottage cheese.
  4. Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that’s right for you, as MyPlate encourages us to do.
  5. Drink more water. Hydration is important for your body and skin!
  6. Get to know food labels. Reading the nutrition facts label can help you shop, eat and drink smarter.
  7. Continue to use good food safety practices.
  8. Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.

Tips for Ordering Takeout or Delivery

If you want to support a local restaurant, here are a few tips to help you decipher the menu:

Limit items that are fried or served in sauces that are high in saturated fat. Watch out for the following terms that may indicate items are higher in fat or calories:

  • Crunchy
  • Crispy
  • Battered
  • Breaded
  • Creamy
  • Cheesy
  • Alfredo

More healthful choices may use terms such as:

  • Baked
  • Grilled
  • Roasted
  • Steamed
  • Marinara

Other ideas include:

  • Consider steamed vegetables or fruit as a side option.
  • Rethink your drink. Calories from sugar-sweetened beverages can add up quickly.
  • Ask for sauces and dressing on the side.
  • For takeout, plate your food for a more appropriate portion size instead of eating out of the containers.

If you need assistance with your nutrition efforts, reach out to a registered dietitian, who is committed to helping people enjoy healthy lives. A registered dietitian can provide easy-to-follow, personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.